Human beings are "multi-dimensional" - we are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Yoga is like a set of tools for bringing these parts together, reuniting our "selves" in the ongoing exercise of being human. The result is one of feeling healthy, calm, and peaceful so that we may engage more fully in our lives.
I practice a specific method of yoga called Viniyoga, as transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar, and steeped in the tradition of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. The term "viniyoga" refers to adapting a yoga practice to an individual's unique condition, interests and needs. This rich tradition provides us with a roadmap for self-discovery, transformation, and joy.
Function over Form
Viniyoga prioritizes function over form so that yoga postures are adapted to serve a specific purpose. We might use one variation of Warrior Pose to target the "hip flexor" muscles and another to help a rounded upper back. Ideally, each person learns to find the right version of the posture for their condition. Whether you are just beginning yoga or have practiced for years, this approach optimizes benefits.
Each posture is coordinated with the flow of breath, and the breath can be adapted to create different results. We might use one breath pattern to wake up the system in the morning and another to calm down before bed.
Repetition and Stay
We use a combination of moving in and out, as well as staying in the posture. This helps release tight muscles and facilitates sustained strengthening and stretching.
Strengthen muscles, improve balance, increase flexibility
Maintain healthy systems: digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, immune, hormone, and reproductive
Maintain a clear and balanced outlook
Calm and quiet the mind so that you may more easily connect to your sources of inspiration
In the practice of Yoga one can emphasize the body, the mind, or the self, and hence the effort can never be fruitless.
~ T. Krishnamacharya