Yoga is a method by which a practitioner can transcend his feeling of separateness in order to realize his “higher self”, whether he perceives it as the transcendental self or god. Different traditions of yoga understand and teach this process using a wide range of methods.
What unites all the traditions is the understanding that material life, as well as the pleasures we can derive from our body and mind, are limited, volatile and ultimately unfulfilling – and that true happiness comes from within. It happens when we realize who we really are, beyond ego-personality, beyond ordinary perception, beyond separation. This realization is Yoga.
The practice of yoga reestablishes total connection between body and mind, the connection which every child is born with, our birthright. The word yoga, like the English word “yoke”, has the same origin in the Sanskrit word “yugit”, which means to link together. It is linking together the person’s conscious and subconscious mind, inner child, inner adult and inner parent; inner woman and inner man; heart and mind, east and west, sun and moon.
To achieve this linking together, yoga employs a number of very powerful tools: physical practice, breathing techniques (pranayama), work with sound (mantra), ritual hand and body gestures (mudra) and meditation.
Benefits of Yoga on the physical level:
- Boosts physical strength, stamina and flexibility
- Controls weight and pain
- Strengthens, tones and rejuvenates the body
- Greatly facilitates weigh loss
- Improves posture and muscle tone
- Results in healthy, glowing skin
- Helps in recovery from old and new injuries
- Improves balance and coordination
- Boosts the immune system
Benefits of Yoga on the emotional level:
- Lowers stress and enhances the power of relaxation
- Increases impulse control
- Increases tolerance to pain and enhances mental clarity
- Increases energy and flexibility
- Creates self-confidence
- Reduces depression and anxiety
Benefits of Yoga on the spiritual level:
- Infuses a sense of balance and internal harmony
- Enhances memory and creativity
- Increases the power of concentration and self-control
- Grants peace of mind and a more positive outlook on life
- Makes you feel connected with the universe
- Lubricates the skeletal system
- Massages and activates internal organs
- Improves blood circulation
- Cleanses and improves organ function
- Purifies and regenerates the nervous system
Various schools existed at different times, responding to different needs and personalities of students. Mostly, we offer Hatha, Kundalini and Bhakti Yoga.
Hatha represents opposing energies: hot and cold (fire and water, following similar concept as yin-yang), male and female, positive and negative. Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body via physical postures or “asanas”, purification practices, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation. Asanas teach poise, balance and strength and are practiced to improve the body’s physical health and clear the mind in preparation for meditation in the pursuit of enlightenment. Hatha yoga is the base of Tantra Yoga.
The ancient technology of Kundalini Yoga rejuvenates body, mind and spirit with revitalizing exercise/asanas, breath/pranayam, the science of sound/mantra, uplifting meditation and relaxation that promotes health, happiness, and spiritual awareness.
Practicing Kundalini Yoga allows you to:
· Build a healthy body, keep it in shape, increase your vitality
· Train your mind to be strong and flexible in the face of stress and change
· Make contact with your innate inner wisdom, infinity
· Open the door so that you can fulfill your potential
· Bring your energy awareness to a higher level
Kundalini Yoga balances the glandular system, strengthens the nervous system, and enhances creative potential. Through yogic breathing techniques and meditation, peace of mind can be obtained, giving an experience of deep inner calm and self-confidence. It gives you the vitality and health that is your birthright. It makes you radiant, peaceful, strong and loving so that you can meet life’s challenges with grace.
Bhakti, The Path of Devotion or Divine Love
This path appeals particularly to those of an emotional nature. Bhakti Yogi is motivated chiefly by the power of love and sees God as the embodiment of love. Through prayer, worship and ritual the practitioner surrenders himself to God, channeling and transforming his emotions into unconditional love or devotion. Chanting mantras or singing is a substantial part of Bhakti Yoga.
Swami Sivananda: Karma Yoga is selfless service unto humanity. Karma Yoga is the Yoga of action which purifies the heart and prepares the Antahkarana (the heart and the mind) for the reception of Divine Light or attainment if Knowledge of the Self. The important point is that you will have to serve humanity without any attachment or egoism.
Karma Yoga is the path of selfless action and selfless service in which the Ego is given up to the desire to serve God in every thing and every action. Karma Yoga is a practice of generosity and loving kindness. You won’t find the karma yogi sitting deep in meditation on some secluded mountain peak, or hidden deep within some remote forest. The karma yogi is a ‘man (or woman) of action.