What is Viniyoga?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Yoga is the ability to quiet the disturbances of the mind, and in this calmness completely clear perception is attained. Viniyoga is a Sanskrit word, which translates to “adaptation.” Therefore, Viniyoga is an approach to yoga that is adapted for the individual needs of the practitioner.

Viniyoga referes to the tradition passed down from T. Krishnamacharya(acknowledged as the “Grandfather of Modern Yoga”) through his son TKV Desikachar and was passed down to his students. Gary Kraftsow began studying with Desikachar in 1974 when he was just 18 years of age. For four decades, he has been a pioneer in the transmission of the ancient yoga traditions in the United States. He and Mirka Scalco Kraftsow founded the American Viniyoga Institute as a way to build a solid foundation to pass on these teaching to students and teachers through well organized and deep training programs.  They have trained many yoga teachers and therapists and currently collaborates on many projects connecting yoga with such fields as theology and health care.

The Viniyoga tradition acknowledges that each of us are different in age, constitution, mental clarity, structural stability, etc; therefore, each student will have unique needs and abilities. This demands that the exercises must be appropriate and useful to the student.

Asana (Yoga postures) practices, where many modern students begin the study of yoga, combine awareness, breath, and movement to develop awareness of the breath and the body and their relation to one another. The body moves with the breath, and the breath compliments each movement. Appropriate sequencing of the postures is incredibly important for maintaining stability and balance in the structure, so practices are carefully designed care for the students.

Tammy has integrated two decades of Yoga practice with her training to develop her own approach to teaching and practice that is strongly rooted in the ancient traditions but also reflective of modern interests and orientations.  She offers the use of chanting, Yoga postures, breath work, visualization, self-reflection and meditation in many of her classes based on the interests and needs of the students along with some other practices that can support one along the journey of life.