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Viniyoga: What is it?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 147 views

There is no such thing as a typical Viniyoga class. Rather, this yoga application is geared towards the individual condition of the yogi – physically and emotionally. Viniyoga can therefore help very effectively with health problems. Read more about it here!

What is viniyoga?

The word “Viniyoga” comes from Sanskrit, is an adjective and means something like “to use something appropriately”. It is not a style of yoga, but a specific way of teaching yoga . The teacher deals with each yogi individually and can thus very effectively reduce their suffering.

This yoga application was significantly influenced by the Indian TKV Desikachar. He is the son of T. Krishnamacharya, the “Father of Modern Yoga”, who lived 1888-1989. Like his father, TKV Desikachar saw yoga primarily as an individual offer for the therapy of health and mental problems.

Crucial for him were the observations he made in the West. There, many people practice the same asanas (physical exercises), pranayamas (breathing techniques) and meditations – regardless of their age, their needs, their state of health and their culture. TKV Desikachar found that such framework conditions are of great importance for the effect of yoga. He therefore began to adapt the exercise sequences again and again in order to achieve the greatest possible benefit for the individual.

To this day, the prerequisite for Viniyoga is that the yoga teacher knows a wide range of yoga exercises and is able to develop a suitable series. Used correctly, this application can help with numerous complaints – back pain, tension, depression or menstrual problems.

What does a typical Viniyoga class look like?

With Viniyoga there are no classic lessons, the respective teacher builds up each unit anew – in individual and group lessons. Depending on the condition of the practitioner, it can be physically very demanding or simply oriented. It always depends on which goals are in the foreground and who it is aimed at.

However, there are also intersections: The hours are always concentrated, collecting and relaxing. Each Viniyoga course also follows a well-considered structure. Particularly demanding exercises are specifically prepared with simpler asanas. It is also important to alternate between contracting and relaxing. The focus is on the quality of the asanas and not on striving for a perfect form.

The quality of the asanas is already described in more detail in the Yoga Sutra. A combination of stability (sthira) and lightness (sukha) is crucial. The focus is on the greatest possible effectiveness, healthy practice and personal competence of the yogis. In addition, the breath is consciously included in every movement and posture.

What are the effects of viniyoga on the yogi?

Viniyoga helps to improve the flexibility of the body. In addition, the yogi gets more strength and an increased awareness of his body. It is important that the practice is dynamic. The spine plays a fundamental role in this context. It is included in every asana. It’s not just about improving flexibility, but about understanding the body in its entirety.

Viniyoga is an integrative body work. Since the breath is included in every asana practice, a positive self-regulation of the vegetative nervous system develops – this is an essential factor for successful relaxation and stress reduction.

Can beginners start with Viniyoga or are there restrictions?

Even beginners can practice Viniyoga. Since all exercises and exercise sequences can be highly customized, they are suitable for everyone who wants to practice yoga – from beginners to advanced.


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