August 24 - 25, 2013

What Is Viniyoga?
Appropriate application of the tools of yoga, Viniyoga ™ is a comprehensive and authentic transmission of the teachings of yoga including asana, pranayama, bandha, sound, chanting, meditation, personal ritual and study of texts. Viniyoga ™ (prefixes vi and ni plus yoga) is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application. tasya bhumisu viniyogah; Sutra 3.6, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


Participation in all 4 sessions is strongly encouraged, though single sessions are available:

$295 all 4 sessions

Saturday: 12:30pm-3pm ($85)

Saturday: 4pm-6:30pm ($85)
Sunday: 12:30pm-3pm

Sunday: 4pm-6:30pm ($85)

Call 919-933-9642 to register, or

Yoga Teacher's, please call 919-933-9642 for your discount.

The American Viniyoga™ Institute uses the term Viniyoga™ to refer to an approach to Yoga that adapts the various means and methods of a yoga practice to the unique conditions, needs and interests of each student - giving each practitioner the tools to individualize and actualize their practice.

The ViniYoga approach provides 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.


Over 100 billion dollars are spent annually in the United States on back pain.

In December 2005, the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that yoga is an effective treatment for chronic back pain . These results were found in a study conducted by the National Institutes of  Health (NIH), and the yoga protocol in that study was designed by Gary Kraftsow using the gentle approach of Viniyoga. This methodology will be used as the basis to learn and experience specific therapeutic sequences for the lower back, sacrum and hips, as well as the upper back, neck and shoulders, and is designed for therapists, teachers, and individual who suffer from any type of back pain.

In the following sessions you will develop structural goals including: skeletal alignment,

joint stability, muscular resilience and functional neuromuscular movement patterns.

You will also begin to examine optimal metabolic functioning, which is the most important of our physiological systems.

Although we can supply props (bolsters, blankets, blocks & straps) we might not be able to accomodate everyone. If you have your own props, please bring them.





Therapy for Low Back, Sacrum and Hips

The Viniyoga Perspective

Gary will present the means and methods for working with chronic and acute structural conditions including: assessment, goals, treatment strategy and application. Explore biomechanics of the lower back, sacrum and hips, and the types of problems that can affect these areas. We will experience a sequence of adapted asanas designed to relieve symptoms and strengthen these areas of the body.






Therapy for Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders

The Viniyoga Perspective

Gary will present the means and methods for working with chronic and acute structural conditions including: assessment, goals, treatment strategy and application. Explore the biomechanics of the upper back, neck, and shoulders, and the types of problems that can affect these areas. We will experience a sequence of adapted asanas designed to relieve symptoms as well as strengthen these areas of the body.




Viniyoga means to start at the appropriate place for each individual and proceed with appropriate steps in the desired direction. Viniyoga, in this broad sense of practice and purpose, is thus not so much a “style” as it is a methodology for the cultivation of practice based upon individual ability and purpose using the many classical tools of Yoga. By extension, public classes are taught in different ways, for different purposes, for different groups of students and for different stages of our lives. The asana practice can be characterized by the conscious integration of  breath and movement of the spine. Practice brings a strong, flexible and resilient back coupled with a long and steady, smooth and subtle breath. Function is stressed over form. Repetition, adaptation and careful attention to sequencing and breathwork are other key elements. There are no set practices for Viniyoga, but there are core principles of breath and movement.

One fundamental principle is respecting the individuality of each student. Personal practices may also include pranayama, meditation, and other classic elements. Personal practices are taught privately. Given the scope of practice, the heritage of the lineage and the many therapeutic applications, the training requirements for Viniyoga teachers are extensive.

Viniyoga is the Yoga of  Sri. T. Krishnamacharya and was continued by his son, T.K. Desikachar. It is a long and influential Yoga tradition well known for a broad, deep and individual approach to practice. Through his many famous students, Krishnamacharya is sometimes said to "have launched the Hatha Yoga renaissance in modern times, which is still sweeping the world." Gary Kraftsow is world known in this lineage.



Gary Kraftsow has been a pioneer in the transmission of yoga for health, healing and personal transformation for 30 years. He began his study of yoga in India with T.K.V. Desikachar in 1974 and received a Viniyoga Special Diploma from Viniyoga

International in Paris, France. He is a renowned speaker and teacher of the Viniyoga methodology at many conferences and schools nationally and internationally. In 1999 he founded American Viniyoga Institute, LLC. Gary has successfully developed protocol for two National Institute of Health studies: "Evaluating Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain" and "Yoga Therapy for Generalized Anxiety," He is the Director and Senior Teacher of the American Viniyoga Institute; author of two books: YOGA FOR WELLNESS and YOGA FOR TRANSFORMATION; and author of two educational DVDs: YOGA THERAPY FOR LOW BACK, SACRUM AND HIPS and YOGA THERAPY FOR UPPER BACK, NECK AND SHOULDERS. 


Gary's Books and DVDs






"Giving a written taste of any of these energy-rich conference classes is a challenge, but after spending most of the day with Gary Kraftsow (attending two classes and listening to his erudite offerings to a panel discussion on Saturday), I know whatever I say here will be woefully inadequate. Gary seems to know every word of the Yoga Sutra by heart--in Sanskrit--and gives the most provocative translations into English. He lived in Madras, India for four years, and began studying with T.K.V. Desikichar in the 1970s. He holds a masters degree in religion and psychology and rattles off dozens of stories and teachings of saints, yogis, and philosophers in the course of a class. As founder and director of the American Viniyoga Institute, he also has a wee bit of experience with anatomy and physiology and asana--and designed a protocol for a study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showing that yoga can relieve chronic back pain. Let's just say, Gary is a vessel of yoga knowledge, unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. In "Common Aches and Pains: Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders," he gave us some basic anatomy and physiology lessons that I won't try to recap here. What I loved most of all he said was this: "Think carefully about what you do with the time you have for practice." He asked us what was more important: our hamstrings or our liver? Knowing that most of us are too busy to do it all, he asked: Do we really want to spend so much of our yoga practice stretching our hamstrings? If we're dealing with specific issues--like chronic neck pain, doesn't it make more sense to tailor a short (maybe 15-minute) practice for releasing neck tension and do it a couple of times a day? "Your responsibility is self-investigation," he told us. To heal chronic aches and pains, he suggested that we discover our own dysfunctional neuromuscular movement patterns (the ways we move or hold ourselves--say with our neck craned or our back slumped--that contribute to our discomfort), and see if we can change them. Acknowledging that doctors, physical therapists, yoga teachers and others can help us, he said he finds that the most effective healing comes when we investigate our own issues, rather than relying solely on experts. He offered several poses for releasing tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulder"