Viniyoga – an approach to hatha yoga

As an approach to hatha yoga, Viniyoga, is not as widely practised as other yoga ‘styles’ so you’d be forgiven for not knowing what it’s all about!  You may see classes such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow, Iyengar, Hot yoga, the list is endless which is great as it gives people the opportunity to choose a  style that fits them.  However, the one common thread through these different approaches is that they’re all hatha yoga which is basically all physical yoga you’ll practice on a mat so that the ‘styles’ listed previously are all approaches to hatha yoga as indeed Viniyoga is.  So what if you see a class advertised as ‘hatha’?  What to expect in that class?  It largely depends on the teacher, but it normally suggests a class that includes some static work with postures, maybe some sequences and involves a relaxation at the end.  The teacher probably hasn’t trained in a specific tradition, unlike say a  Viniyoga, Ashtanga vinyasa or say an Iyengar teacher.

Traditionally yoga was practised on a one to one basis with the student remaining with the same teacher for many years, indeed a lifetime.  As yoga became more and more popular in the west classes became the norm with the vast majority of current yoga practitioners attending a regular class as opposed to working by themselves at home or with their teacher.
Viniyoga has very much continued with this tradition of one to one and home practice and you’ll find that most Viniyoga teachers don’t run classes but work on an individual basis.  Indeed we work daily with our one to one clients.

Our approach in the classes that we run in Cheltenham and on our yoga holidays is one that takes the principles of Viniyoga (individual attention) and apply them to group classes.  We offer alternatives, variations and modifications to suit the individual.  Our philosophy is that every body is different and we want the yoga to fit your body and not the other way around!

With many great Viniyoga teachers based in the UK and Europe and the USA take a look at this article written by Gary Kraftsow, one of the Viniyoga pioneers in the States…

Breathing into healing