During the 20th century, a very physical approach to yoga (with the invention of many new and varied postures – ‘asana’ in Sanskrit) enjoyed a huge surge in popularity in the West. Many people think of yoga as a system of exercises to tone and stretch the body and are maybe also looking for relaxation However, traditionally, yoga has a much broader meaning. Within this word ‘yoga’ lies the concept of uniting – where two or more principles are joined. For example we can work with the breath, the body and the mind – using them as tools to help us concentrate and lead us to a state of physical relaxation and mental clarity. By stilling the ‘chitter-chatter’ of the mind, we are often able to see more clearly and deal with life situations more calmly and more effectively. TKV DESIKACHAR (1938-2016) The son of T Krishnamacharya, (a teacher of BK Iyengar), TKV Desikachar applied the Sanskrit word ‘viniyoga’ (from the sage Patanjali’s yoga sutra 3.6) to his teaching. ‘viniyoga’ means ‘the appropriate application’ – it is not a ‘type’ of yoga and you could talk about the ‘viniyoga’ of gardening, cookery or any subject. In the tradition of TKV Desikachar, it is taken to mean the special application of yoga respecting the specificneeds, condition, age and interests of the individual student. Using the many tools of yoga, we can enable the individual to practice appropriately and safely. Notable in this tradition is: our monitoring of and application of the breath – we emphasise the coordination of each movement with the appropriate inhale/exhale our modification and adaptation of postures to suit the individual careful sequencing of postures and use of dynamic as well as static work with appropriate, safe preparation and counter-postures. A TYPICAL CLASS My classes normally last 60 minutes and consist of about 45 minutes asana (posture) practice followed by 15 minutes seated pranayama practice (focusing on breathing practices to direct ‘prana’/energy around the body) and/or relaxation/meditation. INDIVIDUAL TUITION/YOGA THERAPY There is no “one size fits all” in yoga practice and, whilst we are able to modify postures where appropriate in a group class setting, having individual tuition and developing your own home practice can be vey beneficial. Please see Individual Tuition/Yoga Therapy. HEALTH ISSUES All of my students are required to complete a full health questionnaire before joining so that I can discuss any health issues fully with the student and ensure that they are able to practice safely. Students are expected to keep me updated on any change in health issues. This then enables me to support the student fully with their practice.