Viniyoga™ (prefixes vi and ni plus yoga) is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application.

The practices of Yoga provide the means to bring out the best in each practitioner. This requires an understanding of a person's present condition, personal potential, appropriate goals and the means available. Just as every person is different, these aspects will vary with each individual.

The American Viniyoga™ Institute uses the term Viniyoga to refer to an approach to Yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of each individual - giving each practitioner the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation.

This approach to yoga evolved out of the teachings transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar of Madras, India (Right).

There are four points that characterize the main difference between the Viniyoga™ approach and most other forms of asana practice.

  1. The use of repetition into and out of postures in addition to holding postures.

  2. The emphasis on function rather than form in asana practice, and the science of adapting the forms of the postures to achieve different results.

  3. The emphasis on breath as the medium for movement in asana, and the science of adapting the pattern of breathing in asana to produce different effects.

  4. The refined art and science of combination which allows teachers to create sequences of different orientation, length, and intensity to suit the intention and context of each practice.

Mirka Kraftsow, Director of The Viniyoga Program at Westside Yoga Studio

Mirka Scalco Kraftsow has been a health practitioner and educator since 1974. Born and raised in Italy, Mirka traveled and studied different modalities of dance, movement, psychology and meditation in India, Europe and the United States. Over the years Mirka has helped hundreds of individuals develop and maintain a personal practice and manage challenging personal and therapeutic conditions.  
Read more about Mirka Kraftsow


Coming in October 2014!

Viniyoga Course w/ Mirka Kraftsow, co-founder of American Viniyoga Institute

A Study of the Patanjali Yoga Sutra with Mirka Kraftsow, 4 Saturdays in October

2nd Chapter, Yamas and Niyamas, the inner orientation of yoga


Mirka will follow up her Saturday classes with a series of classes on the classical yoga text with a specific focus on the personal observances and universal ethics of the yamas and niyamas. Classes will include call and response chanting, word-by-word breakdown of the sutras, and a group discussion about the content of each sutra.


October 2014 Dates


Saturdays, 1:30-3:00pm

October 4, 11, 18 and 25

$90 for entire course, $25/drop-in, members receive 10% off this course






Teacher Training Program

200hr. Viniyoga Wellness Instructor Program A professional-level training developed by Gary and Mirka Kraftsow and American Viniyoga Institute

Stay tuned for 2015 Viniyoga Teacher Training Schedule!

Email for inquiries and details.


This longer format is designed to set the stage for students to generate a deeper, more sensitized understanding of exploring yoga for well-being. The 8 month format allows time for practice and integration, so that students are ready for the next wave of learning and can most fully benefit from Mirka's inspired teaching.







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