What is Viniyoga?

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I have been spending the month of August exploring the style of yoga known as Viniyoga. I was first introduced to this method through the work of T.K.V. Desikachar. As the son of one of the greatest yogis, Krishnamacharya, Desikachar has carried down his father’s teachings in a very comprehensive yet practical manner.

In his book, “The Heart of Yoga“, Desikachar addresses the importance of adaptation and customization in yoga. The fundamental principle of the Viniyoga tradition is that an individual should begin from his/her own starting point. From there, a student is directed to develop a practice with techniques designed to promote self-awareness.

Focusing on the Breath

Viniyoga’s main position is that the breath and movement should be linked. While many forms of hatha yoga reference the breath, it is the repetition and rhythm of coordinating the movement and breath that is key to Viniyoga. Continue reading “What is Viniyoga?”

Migrate Back to Your Spiritual Nest

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Today I am introducing what may be the most effective concentration/meditation technique that I have encountered in my training and practice. It frequently helps to remove the attachments and fluctuations from my mind so that I can focus on my breath and generate positive energy.

The technique is called Hong Sau – a name that originates from the Sanskrit word Hamsa which means Holy Gander (that migrates back to its spiritual home). Its concept is symbolic. Geese migrate or wander; yet no matter how far they fly from home, they always return. Like the gander, we strive to migrate back to our higher self or spiritual nest so that we may experience joy and contentment. Continue reading “Migrate Back to Your Spiritual Nest”

Tools for Detoxifying

yoga twist detoxThis past week, I completed a wonderful detox diet that I discovered in Yoga Journal several years ago. Because the reference is difficult to locate on the web nowadays and I have had so many requests, I will link it here as I address this week’s subject of detoxification.

Tool #1: Diet

Scott Blossom, practitioner of Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and yoga has developed an effective and balanced cleansing diet that I have tried numerous times over the years. It was originally presented as part of a Fall Detox program. Since summer is officially winding down, now is the perfect opportunity to share some of his recipes with you.

Continue reading “Tools for Detoxifying”

Meditation: Steps to Being Successful

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Have you ever heard someone say, “I meditate for an hour each day”? You may think to yourself, “Wow! I wish I could do that!” or “Hmm, that sounds boring.” But you’re most likely thinking, “How can they do that?”

Emptying the mind isn’t easy. Attaining a true state of meditation Continue reading “Meditation: Steps to Being Successful”

Putting the Kibosh on Kyphosis

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My quest for August will be to explore the teachings of Viniyoga. Over the years, I have found this particular style of yoga attractive because it represents the way yoga can serve as therapy. The method stems from the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya, T.K.V. Desikachar and, more recently, Gary Kraftsow. In a nutshell, Viniyoga “tweaks” the traditional poses in order to address specific ailments. Foremost, it works closely with the breath by presenting the poses in a vinyasa (or flow-like) manner.

Below, I have provided a short posture sequence for reducing upper back tension and/or the curvature disorder called kyphosis. Unfortunately, we are seeing this condition occuring more and more frequently with the increase in computer and cell phone usage. Left unattended, this posture bias can adversely affect breathing and other system functions. Continue reading “Putting the Kibosh on Kyphosis”

First Monday Meditation

 

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Greetings!  It is with great joy that I introduce Monday Meditation. I hope this endeavor will entice you to build a breathing/meditation practice into your daily routine. If you were following along last month, these weekly tools will continue to expand your practice. If you are new to the site or have never practiced meditation before, the technique below is a perfect way to get started.

Continue reading “First Monday Meditation”