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What is Viniyoga

BreatheEasy1Respect for the Individual

Whenever I say I’m a yoga teacher, the first question is “what type of yoga do you teach”. “Viniyoga”, I say. This is followed by either a blank stare or “oh, I do vinyasa yoga”.

Viniyoga Is Not Vinyasa Flow

First of all, vinyasa and Viniyoga are not the same thing. Vinyasa just means combining several postures together into a flow, hence “vinyasa flow”.

 Viniyoga has been around for thousands of years and is based on an ancient tradition like, for example, Iyengar. But, it’s a well-kept secret. Not many people know about it because there aren’t many – or any in Denver – group Viniyoga classes offered. Viniyoga is found more in private yoga sessions working with students on a 1:1 basis.

I first found Viniyoga in Atlanta and it was and still is taught in a group setting. It was truly my lucky day.

Modified Poses

One of the things that makes Viniyoga so powerful is that the postures are adapted to the individual. There is no “one right way”. Way too many yoga practices and teachers make the student feel “wrong” if they don’t do the posture exactly right.

This completely ignores the fact that no two bodies are identical. It’s also the reason – this only one right way mentality – there are so many yoga injuries these days, something that used to happen rarely.

Olga Kabel did a terrific blog, Unlock the Hidden Potential of Yoga Poses, on warrior posture and the wide variety of arm positions available in this one simple posture. She’s Viniyoga trained, which was obvious to me immediately. Her pictures and comments are excellent examples of how Viniyoga works. There are so many ways to change and reasons for changing the poses. Respecting the individual’s uniqueness is key.

 Word to the Wise

Whether you are in a group class or private session, never do anything that feels painful and never let any teacher adjust you without your permission. By the way, never give your permission. Yoga teachers don’t have the proper training.

Breathe Easy

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Joanne Thompson

Joanne Thompson

Founder/Owner at Yoga for Self

Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
Joanne Thompson

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