Hatha is the most popular form of yoga globally and is also the most widely practised in the West. It is the most accessible form of yoga, and people from every age or fitness level can practice it.
In this article, I will compare Hatha yoga to another popular style of yoga called Vini yoga.
Let us first understand what we mean by Vini yoga.
What is Vini yoga?
Viniyoga is a Hatha yoga style that emphasizes tailoring yoga practices to the needs of each yogi. The prefixes vi and ni mean “adaptation” or “proper application” in Sanskrit.
Thus, it entails customizing yoga approaches to meet the specific demands of the yogi in mind, body, and soul.
The teacher-student relationship is critical to Viniyoga practice because, without a single strategy, the teacher must learn about their students to understand what they require.
It includes gaining a grasp of their current situation, potential, ambitions, and motivators. The teacher must also facilitate introspection, deeply observe the student's body language, and listen carefully to how they respond to different stimuli.
Viniyoga teachers encourage students to set their expectations and aim for their practice. It gives students a sense of empowerment because they control the direction their practice will take.
It also empowers them by teaching them to meet their own needs and answer their questions through yoga and self-reflection.
Difference between hatha and Vini yoga
- In hatha yoga, the essential idea is to make the body flexible and strong. In Vini yoga, the idea is not to make the body perfect but to help each person understand their own body. It is a journey of self-discovery.
In other words, Hatha yoga concentrates on physical postures while Vini yoga focuses on individual needs and situations.
- The Vini yoga approach was developed by T. Krishnamacharya, a great guru from India. At the same time, the hatha method was developed by Pattabhi Jois, a guru from India who was also a physical fitness trainer.
Viniyoga is a more widely practised style of yoga in the West because it is a more accessible style of yoga.
- The movements in the Hatha Yoga Sutras are physically demanding, while Vini yoga moves at a slower pace and allows for more variations within each posture.
Vini yoga prefers poses that are more dynamic and allow for greater flexibility. It emphasizes the relationship between yin and yang, or the union or balance between opposing forces.
- Vini yoga begins with meditation, yang yoga (yang practices), and yin yoga (yin practices). Yang yoga involves relatively fast-paced movements that, at times, are vigorous. It gears toward strength and speed training for advanced students.
- Yin yoga focuses on regaining the balance between light and dark or between male and female principles. It is one of the main goals of Vini yoga practice.
- Overall, Vini yoga requires more flexibility in the body than hatha yoga.
Which one is best?
Both hatha and Vini yoga style yoga have their advantages and disadvantages. Hatha is a well-known style of yoga because it was developed many centuries ago.
Most people know what a hatha pose looks like, but the poses in Vini yoga are not as widely known because it was developed later.
Hatha is a better option for those who want to gain strength and flexibility, but it is also better for those who want to stay fit.
Overall, hatha and Vini yoga both strive to balance the mind and body. Hatha focuses on the body, and Vini yoga focuses more on the mind.
These two styles of yoga help us understand who we are and make us realize that we can improve ourselves by using yoga as a tool to connect to our minds, bodies, and souls.