Viniyoga is a methodology of yoga teaching that looks at each student and respect their capabilities, needs and goals. The student and their body are always changing physically, emotionally, mentally and because of that the yoga practice should be adapted in order for the student to have a continuous benefit. Yoga teacher training will be able to identify the beginning stage and adapt as the students practice becomes stronger. Viniyoga is a style that brings many benefits to the yogi in practice.
Integrity of the Spine
Yoga has so many different asanas to use in your practice. In Viniyoga we tend to use the traditional asana as our model and then adapt it to find a specific function while we keep in mind the integrity of our spine. Yoga teachers will guide you in using the asana and exploring your range of movement to ensure the best chance at flexibility and strengthening. The way we prepare will help us to enjoy the deeper benefits that we can discover with the asana.
Importance of Breath
Through yoga teacher training we learn that as we practice yoga each movement is integrated with our breath. During the inhale, we feel energy, motivation and inspiration. On the exhale we experience calmness, relaxation and stability. When our moments flow with our breath, we gain a balanced feeling.
How healthy is your Breathing?
Upper Chest Breathing
Lie down on your back and place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your abdomen. As you breathe does your hand on the chest move but your other hand on your abdomen stay still? If so you are a chest breather.
Lie on your back and put your hand around your lower ribs. As you breathe in and out you should feel an effortless expansion in your ribs. If you ribs stay still your breathing is too shallow.
Lie down and allow your body to come to a natural relaxed breathing rate. Once you reach a state of relaxed breathing being to count the length of your exhale and compare it to the length of you inhale. The exhale breath should be a little longer, if not you are an over breather. You can also try to shorten you inhale. If this causes discomfort than you are probably an over breather. Because it is hard to get an accurate rate of breathing by yourself you may want to ask someone else to count your breaths for you to get a more accurate count.
Do you hold your breath after an inhale? To determine if you do this you should pay attention to the moments between your inhale and exhale. A breath-holder tends to feel a pause and may actually hesitate to start the exhale. You can really tell if you are a breath holder during exercise.
This type of breathing happens when the diaphragm is pulled up into the chest on inhale and drops into the abdomen during the exhale. You can lie on your back and put your hands on your abdomen. Your abdomen should slowly flatten as your exhale and rise gently as you inhale. If the opposite happens than you are a reverse breather.
It is pretty easy to determine if you are a mouth breather. Try to ask friends or catch yourself at an unguarded moment.
When we practice something in its natural order we tend to have an outcome that is made up of all the little pieces. When asanas or postures are put together in an order they will become more effective, efficient and elegant. A sequence that is well designed for a practice is a treasure in the yoga community. Yoga teachers that can build strong sequences for their students are highly regarded and their yoga classes fill up quickly. Yoga teacher training will teach you how to create these strong sequences and to be able to identify what works.
Viniyoga is a style of yoga that is suitable for all people. You can be a beginner or the most experienced yoga student and you will walk away feeling good. People with similar aches and pains, choric illness, injuries, women during pregnancy, athletes, performers, and just about anyone else can practice viniyoga and walk away with all the benefits it has to offer. If you are a true yogi and are interested in learning how to share this style look for yoga teacher training in your area.