Tools for Transformation
The Viniyoga™ tradition provides all the tools necessary for a journey of discovery and transformation. It is a systematic and thoughtful approach to, as Gary Kraftsow, my teacher and founder of American Viniyoga says, “deepen[ing] our self awareness, establish[ing] ourselves in the present, and set[ting] a direction for our future….”. In Sanskirt, the term vini means differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application of the teachings. The tradition embraces ALL aspects of yoga--the physical postures, breath work, chanting, meditation, personal ritual, and the study of texts.
The Primacy of Breath
Connection to breath is a hallmark of VIniyoga. A breath-centered practice paves the way for finding stability and ease in the physical postures, no matter how challenging. The transformative power of breath is equally present when combined with simple movement. More importantly, breath is the threshold to the subtle body (our energy, emotions, and thoughts) beyond the gross physical body. Cultivation of long steady breath brings about physiologic changes--it can quiet the endless churning of the mind and calm our nervous system, preparing us for meditation. When we link movement and breath, we practice dynamic mindfulness. With mindfulness comes dawning awareness of the habits that do not serve us--from dysfunctional movement patterns, to rigid ways of thinking. As we start to shed those habits, we reveal our capacity for wonder, joy, compassion, contentment, and gratitude. We begin, in short, to see more clearly.