In the last post I wrote, I talked about taking a break from my weekly bootcamp class and actually ATTENDING a class for myself. The class I chose is a gentle yoga class in the Viniyoga tradition.
Those of you who are yoga enthusiasts may have heard of this style. But there are not very many practitioners in my neck of the woods. In fact, after an Internet search, I could not find a single yoga studio or teacher in Howard County, Maryland. There is one teacher in Annapolis who is currently training in Viniyoga but she is not yet teaching classes. The only teacher I could find is approximately a 45 minute drive from my home.
For those who have never tried a Viniyoga class, the style is quite different from many of the other yoga traditions. The breath plays a leading role in this practice. And rather than simply holding a pose in a static way, all the yoga postures are explored through moving into and out of the pose before holding. Being a dancer by training, all of this makes a lot of sense to me. The emphasis on the breath is very meditative and calming. The gentle movement is also soothing. And the respect for each individual's body and needs is key.
I have now taken 2 workshops in this tradition with Gary Kraftsow, the founder of the American Viniyoga Institute. He is a wonderful teacher, very down-to-earth, funny, and knowledgeable. He is based in California now, but travels all over the world leading workshops and giving lectures on this style of yoga. He is very interested in bringing yoga to the masses, making yoga easily accessible to all people. I am a great fan of this idea: making yoga less esoteric and exotic, something that anyone can use to improve their health.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to find a Viniyoga teacher nearby. I just did a google search to find mine. If you are looking for a gentle, healing style which emphasizes adapting each pose to suit your needs, this could be the right class for you!