Nov 252015
 

South London SAVY Yoga – Inferno Yoga

SAVY Yoga has been serving the city of London and surrounding areas since 2011 under the most qualified and experienced faculty in LONDON and CANADA, and one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in the WORLD! To serve the people of London in a better way, instead of serving some run-of-the-mill pseudo-yoga routines, we offer some very useful and healing, authentic Yoga/ Pranayama routines, ranging from gentle to very challenging Yoga, for the  beginner to the advanced student alike.

Here, we bring to you an introduction to Yoga classes being taught at our South London SAVY Yoga Studio.

Through demonstration, discussion and experiential movement, you will gain key understanding of proper postures and how to keep your body safe. As common sense dictates, one can function properly only if one is disease-free and is in a healthy state of body, mind and spirit. So, for us, your health and disease-free state comes first of all. Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras, Marmas, Kriyas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana – our Yoga is much more than mere gymnastics and sauna! 

South London Yoga Classes at SAVY bring to you the taste, values and expertise of the true traditional Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga from India. Inspired adherence to the eight pillars or steps of yoga bestow one with a calm mind and fit body and lead one towards attaining an emancipated life. In more physical or materialistic  terms, Yoga is more than capable of keeping one physically and mentally fit and disease-free. It has become the new hot and favoured way to sweat it out for better health. SAVY Yoga is a humble step in that direction.

Inferno Yoga
SAVY Inferno Yoga

Experience the grandeur, challenge, authenticity, depth and expanse of yoga

Feel the burning in your muscles, the fire in your body, and the yearning in your soul

In the true spirit of Yoga!

SAVY Inferno Yoga is the kind of intense yoga routine with advanced ‘tapas’ , which awakens fire in every inch of your body!

It joins the mind, breath, body and one can streamline a life which is mentally, physically, spiritually and socially optimum.

This is the best yoga technique for the young in age and the young at heart since it has the ability to make one feel younger, healthier and bursting with energy!

It needs a lot of focus, energy, stamina, will power, flexibility.

Take it if you can!

With

Challenging yoga poses,

Energizing rounds of Sun Salutations,

Connecting Primordial Sound Chanting,

Rejuvenating Breathing exercises,

Burning Yoga Asanas,

Relaxing Meditation,

Awakening Yoga Nidra,

Cleansing & detoxifying Kriyas,

And more unique benefits of other Yoga elements,

This is one of the most complete & healing yoga routines!

No external heat is required

Let this SAVY Inferno Yoga routine show you some real stuff!!!

Come and check out this 100% pure Yoga routine

Learn and practice, and see yourself getting healthier by leaps and bounds.

Come and witness the potential of pure yoga!

 Learn all that directly under expert guidance of one of the most qualified faculty in the world!

In SAVY Inferno Yoga Workshop at South London SAVY Yoga Studio

 You are most welcome to  learn this routine and stay healthy.

These special classes are offered regularly every month.

Here are required details of the classes:

  • Time: On Thursdays: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Where: SAVY International South London Studio at 119-D Exeter Road London ON N6L 1A4
  • Formats: 1 Class every week for One Month (4 Class package)
  • Batches: One batch per month.
  • Commitment: A commitment to complete the program without missing any class (except in an emergency). Missed classes will not be compensated in any way.
  • Cost: Total cost is $72 for one month program.

Please check the exact schedule and time below.

Established benefits of Yoga:

  • Improved General Health
  • Longevity
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Stronger Bones
  • Healthier Heart
  • Healthy Weight
  • Lower Stress Levels
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Lung Capacity
  • Improved Brain Function
  • Greater Sense of Balance
  • Better mind-body connexion
  • Better Sexual Function  & Libido
  • Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
  • Relief from Chronic Back Pain and Neck Pain
  • Better over-all quality of life & much more…

The salient features of London Yoga Classes of SAVY Healing Yoga are:

  • Comprehensive, authentic, world class teaching and knowledge-base in all aspects of Yoga
  • Authentic Ashtanaga and Vinyasa Yoga training based on true, traditional Yoga from India
  • Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Kriyas. Chakras, Kundalini Awakening, Shatkarma, Marma, Mantra etc
  • Clear, concise, to-the-point instruction and individualized care
  • One of the most qualified, experienced, international faculty, well-trained in India with excellent teaching skills
  • Yoga School with highest ranking of RYS 500 – we train yoga teachers up to the highest rank
  • Yoga Therapy services for all diseases available
  • Wonderful, knowledgeable, stable, regular, supportive, warm, welcoming yoga community
  • Unique, specialized yoga classes – Sukshma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga, Yoga for Face, Meditation Classes, Sun and Moon Salutations, Pranayama etc
  • Workshops on interesting Yoga topics from time to time
  • Delve deep into the field of Yoga – Keep learning and sharing knowledge
  • Suitable time of classes
  • Small size of even group classes
  • Small Class Yoga for smaller groups
  • Private sessions also available
  • Decent studio  and studio setting – enjoy the character and warmth of the Victorian heritage building
  • Authentic Yoga at reasonable rates

Sign up today and live life to your full potential.

Call or email for any inquiries.

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please also check different courses at SAVY. 

 Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

 

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>*HST applicable on all payments. Conditions apply.

Nov 232015
 

Pranayama kosha or Energy Body

Pranamaya Kosha Taittiriya Upanishad further says: “Inside this is another body made of life energy. It fills the physical body and takes its shape. Those who treat this vital force as divine experience excellent health and longevity because this energy is the source of physical life.”

This second dimension or kosha is called pranamaya kosha, the energy body, and is the first of the three layers of the Astral Body or Linga Shareera or Sukshma Shareera.

This second kosha is composed of prana, or chi, or ka, or pneuma, or mana, or life force. It is made up of 72,000 nadis, or astral tubes, through which prana, the vital energy, flows. Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning movement, motion or vibration. It is the vital force that produces the subtle vibrations related to breath, and which are the driving force behind the physical aspect of the senses and the operation of the physical body. Prana is the universal principle of energy. It is all the energies in the universe put together, which includes the forces of nature as well as the power within us. It is the life force that enters us at birth, stays and travels within the body and leaves us when we die. Pranamaya kosha is the vital life energy which organises the body parts and provides movement for mental and physical expression. It allows the invisible indweller, our True Self to be able to animate in the external world. At the same time, however, it allows the eternally still, silent center of consciousness to be mistakenly identified as the moving, visible physical body.

Prana is in constant motion throughout life. It is manifest not only in human beings, but also in animals, herbs or trees, oceans, mountains, minerals and bacteria. Even the tiniest part of an atom has prana. This prana is both, :

  • visible, and
  • invisible.

Visible prana manifests before you – wherever there is prana there is movement, growth, change and activity, and where there is no prana there is no activity. When we die the body dissipates because it has become completely bereft of prana. Visible prana is manifest right in front of you. After death the body dissipates because there is no prana in it. Also, if pranas are agitated or there is an imbalance, there is imbalance everywhere.

Prana is responsible for the action of the karmendriyas, the organs of action. Indriya means vehicle, tool or sense. Karma means action. There are five karmendriyas:

  1. feet,
  2. hands,
  3. vocal cords,
  4. urinary and
  5. excretory systems.

Through these five karmendriyas you perform five gross actions. Prana is responsible for the action of the karmendriyas, the organs of action – Prana is the force behind them. Also, there has to be coordination between the prana and the indriyas or sense organs. If there is too much prana, then children sometimes become hyperactive. Hyperactivity in the body is due to hyperactivity of the prana. In old age, we become slow due to lack of prana. Pranamaya kosha is the energy in annamaya kosha.

As per Vedic scriptures, there are five types of Prana, located in different parts of the body that support us. These five pranas affect energy through subtle channels. There five pranas are:

  1. prana,
  2. apana,
  3. udana,
  4. samana and
  5. vyana.

Vayus

These forms of prana control various functions in the physical body. For example, urination, excretion, insemination and childbirth are consequences of apana. Then there are five auxiliary or secondary pranas. 

According to the classical tradition, prana enters the womb in the fourth month of pregnancy. When an embryo is developed in the mother’s womb, it is part of the mother’s body and prana. After the third month, the independent or individual pranas manifest in the foetus. That is, from the fourth month, the mother’s prana and the prana of the embryo become two different pranas.

For both a healthy life and the practice of meditation, it is very useful, or essential that this level of our being be trained, regulated, and directed, so that it flows smoothly. In Pranayama and meditation, we become aware of Pranamaya kosha, explore it, and then go inward, to and through the other koshas. At a more realized level, boundaries fade away; every exhalation becomes another’s inhalation and every inhalation is another’s exhalation. This prana is a part of cosmic life. Each and every creature, each and every thing in this world is a part of cosmic life. Prana is the force or energy for all kinds of motion. A Yogi who has mastered the knowledge of Prana also gains mastery over all manifestations of powers in the cosmos. 

Refinement and Development of Pranamaya Kosha

Learning to direct and regulate prana is important to maintain health. The nerves and endocrine glands are the physical correlates of the pranic body’s nadis and chakras. Ayurveda says that health issues begin at energetic levels before manifesting physically.  Prana gets its nourishment through the air we breathe as well as the food we eat. The lungs and the large intestine are connected to each other. They both supply us with Prana, the lungs because they absorb the essence of the air, and the large intestine absorbs the essence and the nutrition of food. The Prana gets nourished, which in turn nourishes both the body and the mind. It is possible to nourish Prana through the following methods:

  • Pranamaya kosha is directly influenced through practice of pranayama. It is imperative to have an impeccable technique for Pranayama.
  • Take sattvic food. It helps energize Pranamaya Kosha.
  • Practice asanas with an awareness of the breath. 
  • Releasing what you don’t need is as important as adding what you need; spend less time on the activities (or relationships) that dim your inner light.
  • Practice good intention and repetition; you can change the energy of your inner and outer environment.
  • Practice mauna (noble silence). Try making meals in silence, or while chanting or singing uplifting mantras.
  • Mudras connect different nadis; their knowledge and practice can strengthen Prana.
  • Mantras have a positive influence on nadis. Chant or sing mantras suited to your Pranic body.
  • Marma Therapy acts on marmas and can be very helpful.
  • Traatak, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana also are very useful.
 

Koshas – Yogis Sheaths of our Being

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Body

Manomaya Kosha or Mental Body

Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Body

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

Contact Us

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 

President and Director of Teaching

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

Nov 222015
 

South London SAVY Yoga – Sukshma Yoga or Subtle Yoga

SAVY Yoga has been serving the city of London and surrounding areas since 2011 under the most qualified and experienced faculty in LONDON and CANADA, and one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in the WORLD! To serve the people of London in a better way, instead of serving some run-of-the-mill pseudo-yoga routines, we offer some very useful and healing, authentic Yoga/ Pranayama routines, ranging from gentle to very challenging Yoga, for the  beginner to the advanced student alike.

Here, we bring to you an introduction to Yoga classes being taught at our South London SAVY Yoga Studio.

Through demonstration, discussion and experiential movement, you will gain key understanding of proper postures and how to keep your body safe. As common sense dictates, one can function properly only if one is disease-free and is in a healthy state of body, mind and spirit. So, for us, your health and disease-free state comes first of all. Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras, Marmas, Kriyas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana – our Yoga is much more than mere gymnastics and sauna! 

South London Yoga Classes at SAVY bring to you the taste, values and expertise of the true traditional Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga from India. Inspired adherence to the eight pillars or steps of yoga bestow one with a calm mind and fit body and lead one towards attaining an emancipated life. In more physical or materialistic  terms, Yoga is more than capable of keeping one physically and mentally fit and disease-free. It has become the new hot and favoured way to sweat it out for better health. SAVY Yoga is a humble step in that direction.

Sukshma Yoga or Subtle Yoga

 Jinfeng Wang

Sukshma Yoga -The Yoga for Everyone, or Subtle Yoga, or Micro Yoga, is one of the most ancient and relatively little known form of Yoga. This is ‘The Yoga for Everyone’! These exercises are simple, short and subtle. They open up subtle energy channels and you can feel a palpable difference even in a very short while.

Sukshma Yoga can help you relax within a few minutes. Its effect penetrates subtle levels at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. This consists of gentle stretching and coordinated breathing, and breathing exercises, that result in deep relaxation. It includes easy exercises for the eyes, tongue and jaws, neck, hands, feet, knees, ankles and hips. In Sukshma Yoga the whole body, from head to toe, is treated, relaxed and rejuvenated. These exercises also stimulate, balance and energise the Marma points and Chakras. External and internal body parts undergo deep transformation in this type of Yoga. These are scientific exercises that not only make us strong and supple, but also help remove impurities from the body and improve the memory, concentration and will-power. Sukshma Yoga routine includes more of those physical yogic movements which almost all of the people would be able to do. Hasta mudras or hand postures are also included.

These classes are suitable even for those who have not done any form of yoga or exercise before and are afraid of trying yogic postures. The good thing about yoga is that there is something for everybody regardless of body weight, physical limitations/strength or flexibility. With the regular practice of these gentle movements you would be amazed to see how the yoga practice is helping you not only in making a difference in your lives but also helping in overcoming so many health issues. Regular practice of this type of Yoga ensures a long and healthy life. People of every age, make, fitness level,belief, faith can do and receive the benefits of these exercises that can be very comfortably and safely practised. These exercises also make you ready for getting deeper into yoga and meditation in a very gentle way.

Our Beginners’ Level I classes are based on Sukshma Yoga or Subtle Yoga. You can learn Sukshma Yoga at SAVY under one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in North America!

 You are most welcome to  learn this routine and stay healthy.

These special classes are offered regularly every month.

Here are required details of the classes:

  • Time: On Mondays: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
  • Where: SAVY International South London Studio at 119-D Exeter Road London ON N6L 1A4
  • Formats: 1 Class every week for One Month (4 Class package)
  • Batches: One batch per month.
  • Commitment: A commitment to complete the program without missing any class (except in an emergency). Missed classes will not be compensated in any way.
  • Cost: Total cost is $72 for one month program.

Please check the exact schedule and time below.

Established benefits of Yoga:

  • Improved General Health
  • Longevity
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Stronger Bones
  • Healthier Heart
  • Healthy Weight
  • Lower Stress Levels
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Lung Capacity
  • Improved Brain Function
  • Greater Sense of Balance
  • Better mind-body connexion
  • Better Sexual Function  & Libido
  • Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
  • Relief from Chronic Back Pain and Neck Pain
  • Better over-all quality of life & much more…

The salient features of London Yoga Classes of SAVY Healing Yoga are:

  • Comprehensive, authentic, world class teaching and knowledge-base in all aspects of Yoga
  • Authentic Ashtanaga and Vinyasa Yoga training based on true, traditional Yoga from India
  • Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Kriyas. Chakras, Kundalini Awakening, Shatkarma, Marma, Mantra etc
  • Clear, concise, to-the-point instruction and individualized care
  • One of the most qualified, experienced, international faculty, well-trained in India with excellent teaching skills
  • Yoga School with highest ranking of RYS 500 – we train yoga teachers up to the highest rank
  • Yoga Therapy services for all diseases available
  • Wonderful, knowledgeable, stable, regular, supportive, warm, welcoming yoga community
  • Unique, specialized yoga classes – Sukshma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga, Yoga for Face, Meditation Classes, Sun and Moon Salutations, Pranayama etc
  • Workshops on interesting Yoga topics from time to time
  • Delve deep into the field of Yoga – Keep learning and sharing knowledge
  • Suitable time of classes
  • Small size of even group classes
  • Small Class Yoga for smaller groups
  • Private sessions also available
  • Decent studio  and studio setting – enjoy the character and warmth of the Victorian heritage building
  • Authentic Yoga at reasonable rates

Sign up today and live life to your full potential.

Call or email for any inquiries.

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please also check different courses at SAVY. 

 Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

 

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>*HST applicable on all payments. Conditions apply.

Nov 202015
 

South London SAVY Yoga – Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations

SAVY Yoga has been serving the city of London and surrounding areas since 2011 under the most qualified and experienced faculty in LONDON and CANADA, and one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in the WORLD! To serve the people of London in a better way, instead of serving some run-of-the-mill pseudo-yoga routines, we offer some very useful and healing, authentic Yoga/ Pranayama routines, ranging from gentle to very challenging Yoga, for the  beginner to the advanced student alike.

Here, we bring to you an introduction to Yoga classes being taught at our South London SAVY Yoga Studio.

Through demonstration, discussion and experiential movement, you will gain key understanding of proper postures and how to keep your body safe. As common sense dictates, one can function properly only if one is disease-free and is in a healthy state of body, mind and spirit. So, for us, your health and disease-free state comes first of all. Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras, Marmas, Kriyas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana – our Yoga is much more than mere gymnastics and sauna! 

South London Yoga Classes at SAVY bring to you the taste, values and expertise of the true traditional Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga from India. Inspired adherence to the eight pillars or steps of yoga bestow one with a calm mind and fit body and lead one towards attaining an emancipated life. In more physical or materialistic  terms, Yoga is more than capable of keeping one physically and mentally fit and disease-free. It has become the new hot and favoured way to sweat it out for better health. SAVY Yoga is a humble step in that direction.

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations

Surya Namaskar

The Sun is the source of all energy and the supporter of all life-forms. Culturally, in India, it has always been more than just a star and Indian culture respects and worships this powerful source of energy and the source of all life on earth as a deity. Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations, an integral part of Surya Yoga, is one way Hindus have always paid respect to the “Sun god” and in turn gain enormous health benefits. Surya Namaskar, translated into English as Sun Salutation, is an age-old sequence of twelve asanas. The obvious characteristic of Surya Namaskar is the fact that it exercises the entire body. The Sun Salutation is a graceful, thermogenic, sequence of twelve postures performed as one continuous exercise. Each position is reverse of the one before, stretching the body in a different way and alternatively expanding and contracting the chest to regulate the breathing.

Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar is yoga postures, breathing, mindfulness, meditation, bandhas, gaze, alignment etc – all rolled in one!

In India, Surya Namaskar has always been considered THE MOST COMPLETE EXERCISE ROUTINE!

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

Sun Salutations or  Surya Namaskar has many benefits and if done regularly can not only help you lose flab but can also help you prevent, and even combat, diseases. Here are a few benefits of this sequence:

  • Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, ideally done facing the early morning rising sun, helps our body to soak in the benefits of the morning rays of the sun. Surya tratak practised at this time is most beneficial.
  • This is the best and most complete series of asanas to improve lymphatic drainage and circulation . Hence, it improves body immunity.
  • Regular practice of this series of asanas can also help you lose the excess belly fat.
  • The postures in Surya Namaskar stretch our muscles and help make our body very flexible.
  • The moves and postures of the asana help all our internal organs function better — the various poses regulate our blood flow, benefit the digestive system and makes it more efficient.
  • It helps combat insomnia as it relaxes the body and calms the mind.
  • It helps regulate menstrual cycles and makes childbirth easier.
  • This is known to facilitate blood circulation and thereby help hair growth and prevent hair problems.
  • It reduces anxiety and restlessness and enhances our strength and vitality.
  • Surya Namaskar benefits not just adults, but kids as well.
  • From a yoga point of view, it acts on Solar Plexus and regular practice of Surya Namaskar increases its size, hence increasing awareness and ‘gut feeling’ or intuition.
  • It acts on and balances all chakras and helps you achieve complete health.
  • The back and forth, up and down movements in Sun Salutations are fun and offer the opportunity to move playfully in the practice.
  • They warm up the body for the practice of more asanas.
  • Surya Namaskar improves cardiovascular function. Some studies have revealed that sun salutations provided the best overall benefit for the heart, specifically the left ventricle. For excellence of health, the left ventricle must relax very rapidly after each contraction and then again contract rapidly and forcibly, to push blood into aorta. Sun Salutations improve this function.
  • They bring the mind to a calm, serene yogic state.
  • They help to overcome motivation issues.
  • They keep your skills sharp.
  • Sun Salutation is a very complete exercise.  If you only have fifteen or twenty minutes to practice, doing Sun Salutations alone properly cover almost all the benefits of yoga postures.

The traditional format of Sun Salutations being taught at SAVY Studios helps you derive maximum benefits from this very useful yogic exercise. One feels so alive after just a few rounds of this!

You are most welcome to  learn this routine and stay healthy.

These special classes, with one hour of just Surya Namaskar, are offered regularly every month.

Here are required details of the classes:

  • Time: On Fridays: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
  • Where: SAVY International South London Studio at 119-D Exeter Road London ON N6L 1A4
  • Formats: 1 Class every week for One Month (4 Class package)
  • Batches: One batch per month.
  • Commitment: A commitment to complete the program without missing any class (except in an emergency). Missed classes will not be compensated in any way.
  • Cost: Total cost is $72 for one month program.

Please check the exact schedule and time below.

Established benefits of Yoga:

  • Improved General Health
  • Longevity
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Stronger Bones
  • Healthier Heart
  • Healthy Weight
  • Lower Stress Levels
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Lung Capacity
  • Improved Brain Function
  • Greater Sense of Balance
  • Better mind-body connexion
  • Better Sexual Function  & Libido
  • Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
  • Relief from Chronic Back Pain and Neck Pain
  • Better over-all quality of life & much more…

The salient features of London Yoga Classes of SAVY Healing Yoga are:

  • Comprehensive, authentic, world class teaching and knowledge-base in all aspects of Yoga
  • Authentic Ashtanaga and Vinyasa Yoga training based on true, traditional Yoga from India
  • Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Kriyas. Chakras, Kundalini Awakening, Shatkarma, Marma, Mantra etc
  • Clear, concise, to-the-point instruction and individualized care
  • One of the most qualified, experienced, international faculty, well-trained in India with excellent teaching skills
  • Yoga School with highest ranking of RYS 500 – we train yoga teachers up to the highest rank
  • Yoga Therapy services for all diseases available
  • Wonderful, knowledgeable, stable, regular, supportive, warm, welcoming yoga community
  • Unique, specialized yoga classes – Sukshma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga, Yoga for Face, Meditation Classes, Sun and Moon Salutations, Pranayama etc
  • Workshops on interesting Yoga topics from time to time
  • Delve deep into the field of Yoga – Keep learning and sharing knowledge
  • Suitable time of classes
  • Small size of even group classes
  • Small Class Yoga for smaller groups
  • Private sessions also available
  • Decent studio  and studio setting – enjoy the character and warmth of the Victorian heritage building
  • Authentic Yoga at reasonable rates

Sign up today and live life to your full potential.

Call or email for any inquiries.

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please also check different courses at SAVY. 

 Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

 

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>*HST applicable on all payments. Conditions apply.

Nov 192015
 

South London SAVY Yoga – Yoga for Osteoporosis

SAVY Yoga has been serving the city of London and surrounding areas since 2011 under the most qualified and experienced faculty in LONDON and CANADA, and one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in the WORLD! To serve the people of London in a better way, instead of serving some run-of-the-mill pseudo-yoga routines, we offer some very useful and healing, authentic Yoga/ Pranayama routines, ranging from gentle to very challenging Yoga, for the  beginner to the advanced student alike.

Here, we bring to you an introduction to Yoga classes being taught at our South London SAVY Yoga Studio.

Through demonstration, discussion and experiential movement, you will gain key understanding of proper postures and how to keep your body safe. As common sense dictates, one can function properly only if one is disease-free and is in a healthy state of body, mind and spirit. So, for us, your health and disease-free state comes first of all. Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras, Marmas, Kriyas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana – our Yoga is much more than mere gymnastics and sauna! 

South London Yoga Classes at SAVY bring to you the taste, values and expertise of the true traditional Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga from India. Inspired adherence to the eight pillars or steps of yoga bestow one with a calm mind and fit body and lead one towards attaining an emancipated life. In more physical or materialistic  terms, Yoga is more than capable of keeping one physically and mentally fit and disease-free. It has become the new hot and favoured way to sweat it out for better health. SAVY Yoga is a humble step in that direction.

Yoga for Osteoporosis

Yoga for Osteoporosis

Yoga for Osteoporosis specifically addresses the problems of osteoporosis and osteopenia. Osteoporosis means an increased porosity of bones – a disorder that thins and weakens bones, making them more porous. The consequent danger is possible break, which is when many people discover they have had this ‘silent’ disease for some time. Osteopenia, or low bone density, is a precursor to osteoporosis that puts one at an increased risk of fracture.

For bone health, bone density as well as the structure of bone is important. Yoga not only helps grow bone mass, but also may stimulate the formation of a bone structure that is able to resist greater amounts of pressure, as well as many different types of challenges, because yoga poses pull and stretch the bones from every conceivable angle. There are other important ways in which yoga benefits people with osteoporosis, such as, improving balance, muscular strength, range of motion and coordination, lessening anxiety etc. Bringing down the level of stress hormones is an important factor which is achieved through Yoga. All these factors also help reduce the risk of falling.

Yoga for Osteoporosis includes Yoga postures which are of immense benefit in prevention of Osteoporosis or Osteopenia. The poses selected are such as can be done by everyone. These are based on classical Hatha Yoga postures, mindfulness and breathing exercises. Not all yoga postures are suitable for Yoga for Osteoporosis. This specific routine includes suitable asanas, mindfulness, mudras as well as breath control exercises which help in prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia.

As one ages, a lack of flexible joints in the body increases the risk of pain. Exercises included in this routine also take care of that. This routine, in fact, increases one’s ability to perform other forms of yoga by having better lubricated, flexible joints. This also creates a better sense of balance and peace of mind.

Yoga for Osteoporosis routine educates the connective tissues of the body to stretch, which , in turn, stimulates periosteum to produce bony tissue. The postures focus more on neck, back, hips, thighs and legs. Focus on these tissues has a better effect on stretching and exercising of the bone and joints areas of the body.

This type of practice is beneficial to a wide variety of people. People of every age can do and receive the benefits of these exercises. These exercises also make you ready for getting deeper into yoga and meditation in a very subtle way.

This routine is suitable even for eating disorders, inpatient drug treatment centres, drug addiction rehab centres, or even for those seeking pain treatment and trauma recovery.

With the regular practice of this kind of yoga, you would be amazed to see how the yoga practice helps you not only in making a difference in your lives but also helps in overcoming so many health issues. Regular practice of Yoga ensures a long and healthy life.

You are most welcome to  learn this routine and stay healthy.

This classes are offered regularly every month.

Here are required details of the classes:

  • Time: On Thursday: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
  • Where: SAVY International South London Studio at 119-D Exeter Road London ON N6L 1A4
  • Formats: 1 Class every week for One Month (4 Class package)
  • Batches: One batch per month.
  • Commitment: A commitment to complete the program without missing any class (except in an emergency). Missed classes will not be compensated in any way.
  • Cost: Total cost is $72 for one month program.

Please check the exact schedule and time below.

Benefits of Yoga for Osteoporosis

Yoga for Osteoporosis improves the body in a variety of ways. These may include:

  • Better bone and joint health
  • Flexibility of the body’s connective tissues and joints
  • Greater strength
  • Greater stamina
  • Regulated energy levels
  • Improved health
  • Feeling calm and balanced
  • Slowed signs of aging
  • Deeper relaxation
  • Stress levels lowered
  • Improved meditation
  • Improved practice of other forms of yoga

Established benefits of Yoga:

  • Improved General Health
  • Longevity
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Stronger Bones
  • Healthier Heart
  • Healthy Weight
  • Lower Stress Levels
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Lung Capacity
  • Improved Brain Function
  • Greater Sense of Balance
  • Better mind-body connexion
  • Better Sexual Function  & Libido
  • Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
  • Relief from Chronic Back Pain and Neck Pain
  • Better over-all quality of life & much more…

The salient features of London Yoga Classes of SAVY Healing Yoga are:

  • Comprehensive, authentic, world class teaching and knowledge-base in all aspects of Yoga
  • Authentic Ashtanaga and Vinyasa Yoga training based on true, traditional Yoga from India
  • Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Kriyas. Chakras, Kundalini Awakening, Shatkarma, Marma, Mantra etc
  • Clear, concise, to-the-point instruction and individualized care
  • One of the most qualified, experienced, international faculty, well-trained in India with excellent teaching skills
  • Yoga School with highest ranking of RYS 500 – we train yoga teachers up to the highest rank
  • Yoga Therapy services for all diseases available
  • Wonderful, knowledgeable, stable, regular, supportive, warm, welcoming yoga community
  • Unique, specialized yoga classes – Sukshma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga, Yoga for Face, Meditation Classes, Sun and Moon Salutations, Pranayama etc
  • Workshops on interesting Yoga topics from time to time
  • Delve deep into the field of Yoga – Keep learning and sharing knowledge
  • Suitable time of classes
  • Small size of even group classes
  • Small Class Yoga for smaller groups
  • Private sessions also available
  • Decent studio  and studio setting – enjoy the character and warmth of the Victorian heritage building
  • Authentic Yoga at reasonable rates

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Call or email for any inquiries.

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please also check different courses at SAVY. 

 Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

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Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

 

*HST applicable on all payments. Conditions apply.

Nov 182015
 

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

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Taittiriya Upanishad says: “Human beings consist of a material body made up from the food they eat; those who care for this body are nourished by the universe itself.”

This first dimension or kosha is called annamaya kosha, the physical body or Sthula Shareera.

Anna means food. Satvik meaning of anna is ‘the essence of earth’. Water, food grains, fruits and vegetables are all the products of earth; from this, milk, ghee and flesh is made and all of this is considered anna. Physical body is made up of anna and it grows and gets strengthened with anna and later, after the death of physical body, merges with the earth. This outermost of the koshas is called the sheath of food, or Annamaya kosha. Annamaya kosha is the controller, cause, producer and consumer (sanchalaka, kaarana, utpadaka, and upbhokta) of physical body but is still different from physical body. Living at this level, man identifies himself with a mass of skin, flesh, fat, bones, and filth, whereas a man of viveka (discrimination) realizes his own Self as distinct from the physical body. Out of all koshas, annamaya kosha has the most dense and slow vibrational frequency. This body cannot exist without other koshas or bodies (the pranamaya, manomaya, vigyanamaya, and anandamaya koshas), yet for the most part, it remains barely activated in regards to its highest evolutionary potential. The physical body, the coarsest of sheaths in comparison to the faculties of the atma (the Self), is indispensable for evolution and Self Realization, because only within this can all chakras fully function.

This physical body is made up of the Panchmahabhutas – the five primordial elements, viz.,

  • Akash (vacuum),
  • Vayu (air),
  • Agni (fire),
  • Jal (water), and
  • Prithvi (earth)

This Annamaya Kosha passes through six stages:

  • birth,
  • subsistence,
  • growth,
  • maturity,
  • decay, and
  • death.

Gross body is simply the vehicle of all the other koshas during physical incarnation. Annamaya and physical manifestation of Pranamaya Kosh reside in Sthula Shareera or Gross (physical) body. Gross body needs gross food, drink and air which it gets from Annamaya and Pranamaya Kosha. At death the physical body perishes and its five constituent elements dissolve with the Source.

In Hatha Yoga practice, we train this aspect of ourselves, take care of it, and nurture it, so that we can both enjoy our external lives and go inward without it being an obstacle during meditation. In meditation, we become aware of Annamaya kosha, explore it, and then go inward, to and through other koshas.

Annamaya kosha can be sattvic, rajasic or tamasic. The word sattva means harmony, balance and tranquillity, where you create a balance between activity and peace. Rajas means dynamic, active, violent. Tamas means dull and inert. Through the hatha yoga shatkriyas, you develop a sattvic annamaya kosha and when annamaya kosha becomes sattvic, the emission of energy is much greater.

In modern science it is said that all the time, the whole day and night, physical bodies exchange energy with the surroundings. Of course, you cannot see it, but scientifically it has been seen that just like a pendulum swings, every body is emitting or throwing away atoms or sub-atomic particles, and receiving them. This activity gives rise to energy waves. The sattvic body creates longer-reaching waves, a tamasic body perhaps no waves at all, while a rajasic body has variable waves. 

When these atoms or sub-atomic particles leave your body and come back, there is a period of rest, just like when a pendulum when it goes to the left and then turns and goes to the right, there is a moment of rest. Similarly, when you do pranayama, between inhalation and exhalation there is a point of rest called kumbhak or shunyak, depending on when it comes. It is a very short period. In this short period, the body transmits energy which is sattvic, rajasic or tamasic. 

Refinement and Development of Annamaya Kosha

This is possible through the following methods:

  1. Proper diet: Sattvic foods, like a wholesome, lacto-vegetarian diet, provides nourishment for the body in an optimal way. The consumption of tamasic foods like meat, alcohol and drugs weakens our vitality and fills us with negative vibrations.
  2. Hatha Yoga Shatkriyas (The Six Procedures – Neti, Dhauti, Nauli, Vasti, Kapaal Bhaati, Traatak)
  3. Upavas (Fasting)
  4. Asana (Postures)
  5. Tatvashudhi 
  6. Tapashcharya

Koshas – Yogis Sheaths of our Being

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Body

Manomaya Kosha or Mental Body

Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Body

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

Contact Us

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 

President and Director of Teaching

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p style=”text-align: justify;”>Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

Nov 172015
 

Koshas – Yogic Sheaths of Our Being

Koshas

Over thousands of years, yogis used various practices of Yoga to experientially understand the way we are, and function, vis a vis this whole universe. One of the important basic concepts which helps us understand this is that of Koshas. The Yoga path of Self-realization is one of progressively moving inward, through each of those five levels, so as to experience the purity at the eternal center of consciousness, while at the same time allowing that purity to animate through our individuality. These five levels are called koshas, which literally means sheaths. Yoga defines our being as having five layers or sheaths, each one contained within the other, like peels/ layers of an onion, or Russian Dolls. These sheaths cover every aspect of our being, from the grossest to the subtlest. 

Yoga tells us that you are not just the body you perceive with the eyes, nor are you just blood, bones, marrow, muscles, nerves and the different organs that keep you alive. You are much more than that. What you see of yourself with the eye is sustained by what you cannot see; if the unseen part of you ceased to exist, the seen part of you would wither and die. This seen and unseen part of you is composed of the five koshas. The aim of all the practices of yoga, without exception, is to energize and awaken these koshas until ultimately you experience awakening in vigyanamaya kosha. That alone is the purpose of yoga. When we practice yoga – whether it’s asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, or even karma yoga – we are having an impact on one or more of these layers of the body. The practices of yoga work to release blockages in the many layers of the body. Understanding these basic concepts helps us to figure out why sometimes we feel stuck in our practice, or feel that we are not making any progress.

Consciousness

Consciousness is the ultimate reality out of which mind and matter proceed. It is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind. Many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is.

At one time consciousness was viewed with skepticism by many scientists, but in recent years it has become a significant topic of research in psychology, neuropsychology and neuroscience. The primary focus is on understanding and determining the neural and psychological correlates of consciousness. In medicine, consciousness is assessed by observing a patient’s arousal and responsiveness, and can be seen as a continuum of states ranging from full alertness and comprehension, through disorientation, delirium, loss of meaningful communication, and finally loss of movement in response to painful stimuli. 

In Yoga, individual consciousness is considered a partial expression of cosmic consciousness. Essentially, cosmic consciousness and individual consciousness are one; only subjectivity separates them. Consciousness exists at various levels from minerals to man. Of all existing organisms that express themselves through behaviour, the human organism is the most highly evolved. It is capable of self-expression and the realization of The Truth beyond the realm of sensory perception. With the help of memory, imagination, intuition and discrimination, the human organism can understand laws inherent in nature and use them for growth and development.

Expression of Consciousness

When consciousness desires expression as an organism, it needs tools to control and work with the physical body. In general, we have two major aspects:

  • changeable, the feminine, and,
  • unchangeable, the masculine.

This is illustrated by the Shiva and Shakti as a playing couple, representing the masculine and the feminine aspects respectively.

Shiva and Shakti

Shiva, the masculine, represents the divine lover, and, Shakti, the feminine, represents the energy and the beloved. She wants to play a game. She creates a world of her own and invites Shiva inside. Shiva says that he is never changing, so he cannot live in Shakti’s ever-changing world! Shakti suggests, “You can be the centre of everything, and the centre never changes, everything around it changes. You can stay in your eternal bliss in the centre, and around you, I will put a network of my shakti (power) which will be a conduit between you and the outside world. That way you will not have to do anything – you can remain never changing and I can remain ever changing and we can have fun!”

Shiva agrees and the game begins…!

Pancha-Koshas – The Five Sheaths

Taittiriya Upanishad says:

  • Human beings consist of a material body made up from the food they eat. Those who care for this body are nourished by the universe itself.
  • Inside this is another body made of life energy. It fills the physical body and takes its shape. Those who treat this vital force as divine experience excellent health and longevity because this energy is the source of physical life.
  • Within the vital force is yet another body, this one made of thought energy. It fills the two denser bodies and has the same shape. Those who understand and control the mental body are no longer afflicted by fear.
  • Deeper still lies another body comprised of intellect. It permeates the three denser bodies and takes up the same form. Those who establish their awareness here, free themselves from unhealthy thoughts and actions, and develop the self-control necessary to achieve their goals.
  • Hidden inside it is yet a subtler body, composed of pure joy. It pervades the other bodies and shares the same shape. It is experienced as happiness, delight, equanimity and bliss.

In Yoga philosophy, the body, mind and spirit are understood as one continuum. Indian philosophers spoke about consciousness: the bodies as described above in Taittiriya Upanishad are known as koshas (sheaths). These five koshas are:

  1. Annamaya Kosha or Physical Sheath,
  2. Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Sheath,
  3. Manomaya Kosha or Mental Sheath,
  4. Vigyanamaya Kosha or Wisdom Sheath, and
  5. Anandamaya Kosha or Equanimity or Bliss

In some systems there is a sixth sheath, the hiranyagarbha kosha. According to Vedanta, the wise man should discriminate between atman (the self) and the koshas, which are non-self.

Expansion of Consciousness, the path of Self-realization in Yoga, is the one of progressively moving inward, through each of those layers, so as to experience the purity at the center of consciousness, while at the same time allowing that purity to animate through individuality. 

Koshas - The Sheaths

Koshas and Shariras

These five koshas belong to or co-relate with three bodies that constitute your being. These Tri-Shareera or three bodies are:

  1. Physical Body or Gross Body or Sthula Shareera which has only one layer of Annamaya Kosha
  2. Astral Body or Linga Shareera or Sukshma Shareera. Subtle Body is Astral Body except a part of Pranic Sheath. Every living being has an astral body. This is connected to the physical body by a subtle thread along which vital energy flows. When this cord is cut, the astral body departs and the physical body dies. The astral body is composed of three layers:
    1. Layer one: Pranamaya Kosha or Pranic Sheath, much subtler than the food sheath, it is often spoken of as the etheric double. It is made up of 72,000 nadis, or astral tubes, through which prana, the vital energy, flows.
    2. Layer two: Manomaya Kosha or Mental Sheath, comprising the automatic mind, as well as the instinctive and subconscious regions. This is where we carry on the automatic functions of our daily lives; it is very jumpy by nature, as it is constantly bombarded by inputs from the five senses.
    3. Layer three: Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Sheath, the intellect controls and guides the automatic mind. Discrimination and decision making take place here and pass down to the grosser sheath.
  3. Causal Body or Karan Shareera which has only one layer of Anandamaya Kosha. This  stores all of our karmas, samskaras and impressions of many, many incarnations is the one we encounter when we speak about awakening in vigyanamaya kosha.

 

The experiences of evolution through different ‘yonis’, pleasant and unpleasant, are stored in the vigyanamaya kosha. In order to step into the arena of spiritual ecstasy, you have to pass through this zone and face what is stored there eye to eye. You simply cannot avoid it, just as you cannot avoid your thoughts or your feelings and dreams. The practices of yoga can accelerate this process and accomplish this in a systematic and graded manner. It is only when the awakening occurs in vigyanamaya and that experience is stabilized, that the transcendental experiences of ecstasy and bliss related to anandamaya kosha arise in the consciousness.

In modern psychology, the causal body or karana sharira is known as the realm of the unconscious;  it may also be termed as psyche’ of man. You cannot know what is stored there until there is awakening in vigyanamaya kosha. When you experience awakening in manomaya kosha, you are still within the realm of buddhi or intellect. Everything that you experience will be within the fold of logic and reason and thus there is a degree of control of the experiences and their outcome. It’s in vigyanamaya kosha that you go beyond the level of the mind.

 

Kosha Attibutes

Every day you have three types of experiences:

  • The waking experience in which you experience through your senses and mind.
  • Dream, in which you do not experience through the senses, but through your subconscious mind.
  • Sleep, in which there is no knowledge of time and space, no knowledge about yourself or about anything in sleep, but when you get up in the morning, you know that you slept well the night before.

So every day, the individual self undergoes these three experiences alternately. Each experience relates to a particular field. Whenever your individual self goes to one particular field, realm, dimension or kosha, it has one experience, and as your individual self changes the kosha, it has another experience.

Koshas and Lokas

The complete Gayatri mantra tells us about the relation of koshas and lokas:

Om Bhur  Om Bhuvah  Om Swaha  Om Mahah  Om Janah  Om Tapah  Om Satyam ||
Om bhur bhuvah swaha Tat suvitur varenyam  Bhargo devasya dhimahi  Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat || 

OM, the primordial sound, resides in all elements of the universe. It permeates the earth (bhuh), water (bhuvah), fire (swaha), air (mahah), ether (janah), intelligence (tapah)
and consciousness (satyam). We invoke and meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe, may He enlighten our minds.

Lokas are the planes of consciousness one experiences as the awareness gains ascent from annamaya to pranamaya to manomaya to vigyanamaya. The sapta or seven lokas, as given in the above mantra are:

  1. bhu – earth
  2. bhuvah – water
  3. swah – fire
  4. maha – air
  5. janah – ether
  6. tapah – intelligence/ intellect, and
  7. satyam – consciousness

While bhu, bhuvah and swah, the earthly, intermediate and divine planes, are related to annamaya, pranamaya and manomaya koshas, maha, the plane of siddhas, janah, the plane of rishis and munis, and tapah, the plane of liberated souls, relate to awakening, stabilization and illumination of vigyanamaya. Satymais the loka of ultimate bliss or consciousness.

 

Koshas – Yogis Sheaths of our Being

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Body

Manomaya Kosha or Mental Body

Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Body

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

Contact Us

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

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Nov 162015
 

Drishti – Focused Gaze in Yoga

drishti

Control of drishti, or gaze, has been taught in Yoga for thousands of years. On a simple level, drishti uses a specific gazing direction for the eyes to control attention. Focusing gaze helps in focusing mind. In every asana in yoga, students are taught to direct their gaze to one of nine specific points, but the full meaning of drishti isn’t limited to its value in asana. 

In Sanskrit, drishti means gaze; it can also mean a vision, a point of view, or intelligence and wisdom. The use of drishti in asana serves both as a training technique and as a metaphor for focusing consciousness toward a vision of oneness. Drishti organizes our perceptual apparatus to recognize and overcome the limits of ‘normal’ vision. One of the main purposes of yoga is to bring the consciousness to one point so that it isn’t constantly wandering from one thing to another. In every posture of the yoga series there is a drishti, or gaze, so that the mind remains focused and concentrated. A drishti encourages an inward looking attitude and discourages students from looking around the room or being distracted by non-yogic thoughts.

Incorporating drishtis into every posture is an advanced practice. Students usually master co-ordinated breath and movement (vinyasa) first and then gradually incorporate more bandha and drishti work into their practice. Sometimes in meditation and pranayama practices the eyes are held half-open and the gaze is turned up toward the third eye or the tip of the nose. In the Bhagavad Gita (VI.13), Krishna instructs Arjuna, “One should hold one’s body and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose.” When using the inner gaze, sometimes called Antaric Drishti, the eyelids are closed and the gaze is directed in and up toward the light of the third eye. As Iyengar says, “The closure of the eyes directs the sadhaka (practitioner) to meditate upon Him who is verily the eye of the eye… and the life of life.”

Throughout the history of yoga, clear, true perception has been both the practice and goal of yoga. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, “You are not able to behold me with your own eyes; I give thee the divine eye, behold my Lordly yoga” (11.8). In Yoga Sutras, the classic exposition of yoga, Patanjali points out that in viewing the world, we tend not to see reality clearly, but instead get deluded by the error of false perception. This basic misidentification is called avidya (ignorance), and its counterpart, vidya, is our true identity. In Chapter II, verse 6, he says that we confuse the act of seeing with the true perceiver: purusha, the Self. He continues, in verse 17, to say that this confusion about the true relationship between the act of seeing, the object seen, and the identity of the Seer is the root cause of suffering. His cure for this suffering is to look correctly into the world around us.

Vipashyana or Vipassana

The correct use of tristhana – breath, bandha and drishti in yoga practice is said to bring us closer to reality and unleash the power of the five elements:

  • The element of earth is activated by moola bandha, producing foundation, stability and strength.
  • The element of water is found in the fluidity of flowing posture work, or vinyasa, and in the sweat produced by the practice.
  • The element of air is linked to by the continuous and uninterrupted flow of ujjayi breath in and out of the body and the feeling of lightness created by the application of bandhas.
  • The element of fire is found by connecting to the heat of the practice, particularly at manipura chakra and throughout the body.
  • The element of ether or space is found during the postures as students seek to open up the body and find new levels of stretch and flexibility.

Yoga brings about transformation on a physical, emotional, mental and energetic level. When the above elements are incorporated into a correct practice, the process of positive change starts. The positive transformation of the body and mind by yoga is seen as the fruit of practice and a reward for working with dedication and discipline at this demanding system of asana practice.

Drishti, or focused gaze, is a means for developing concentrated intention. It relates to the fifth limb of yoga (pratyahara) concerning sense withdrawal, as well as the sixth limb (dharana) relating to concentration.

Each yoga asana is associated with a particular dṛiṣhṭi. There are nine drishtis (when you count both Parshva Dṛiṣhṭis, left and right sides, as one). The practice of drishti develops concentration—and teaches you to see the world as it really is. 

Eyes are the doors which connect the inside mind to the outside world. If the eyes are totally fixed, the mind really stops; it cannot wander. The eyes are the most delicate. That is why they can be more tense than any other part, and with the eyes in tension, the whole mind is tense. The eyes are just doors to the mind. We are predominantly visual creatures. Where our eyes are directed, our attention follows. Our attention is the most valuable thing we have, and the visible world can be an addictive, over-stimulating, and spiritually debilitating lure. When we get caught up in the outer appearance of things, our prana (vitality) flows out and gets dissipated. Allowing the eyes to wander creates distractions that lead us further away from focus.

By controlling and directing the focus of eyes, and then of attention, we can control the focus of our mind.

Besides its use in asana, drishti is applied in other yogic practices. In the kriya of trataka, the eyes are held open until tears flow. This technique not only gives the eyes a wash but also challenges the student to practice overriding unconscious urges – in this case, the urge to blink.

Our eyes can only see objects in front of us that reflect the visible spectrum of light, but yogis seek to view an inner reality not normally visible. With practice, we become aware of how our brains let us see only what we want to see. Often our opinions, prejudices, and habits prevent us from seeing the reality. Drishti is a technique for seeing correctly the world around us. Used in this way, it becomes a technique for removing the ignorance that obscures this true vision, a technique that allows us to see oneness in everything.

Drishti types

Nine Types of Drishti

Angusthamadhye

For Anguṣṭhamadhye drishṭi, meaning ‘to the middle of the thumb, the practitioner looks to the thumb.

Examples of asanas which employ Aṅguṣṭhamadhye as their dṛiṣhṭi can be found in the Surya Namaskara vinyasas.

Bhrumadhye

The Bhrumadhye drishṭi, meaning ‘to the middle of the eyebrows/brow, has the gaze set at the ‘third eye’, which is right between the eyebrows. In order to do this, the eyes are closed half way. This purportedly stimulates the olfactory and optic nerves, consequently awakening the autonomic and central nervous systems. It soothes the cranial nerves and aids concentration, and helps awaken kundalini shakti.

It is advised that caution be taken as prolonged or incorrect practice may cause problems for the eye muscles or nervous system. Initial practice is often done for only seconds at a time, but is gradually increased.

An example of a vinyasa which includes the Bhrumadhye dṛiṣhṭi in its practice is Surya Namaskara.

Nasagre

The Nasagre drishṭi, meaning ‘to the tip of the nose’, has the eyes fixed on the tip of the nose. Purportedly strengthens the eye muscles.

Keep the body pose firm, in Padmasana if possible, and centre the gaze at the tip of the nose. In the later stages, it can be practised even with the closed eyes. The process of gazing at the tip of the nose without fluttering the eyelids, helps to achieve the concentration of the mind.

While learning it can be performed even for a minute or two at a stretch. Later, it may be practised for longer duration. 

This helps achieve the concentration of the brain fast and with ease.

Hastagrahe

The Hastagrahe drishti, generally meaning ‘the taking of the hand’ or ‘the putting of the hand to’, or (in the context of dṛiṣhṭi) ‘to the tips of the hand’, involves looking at the (usually extended) tips or palm of the hand.

Utthita Trikonasana, and its twisted partner Parivrtta Trikonasana are two examples of asanas which use Hastagraha dṛiṣhṭi.

Parshva

Parshva drishti, involves looking to the left or right side.

Urdhva

Urdhva drishti has the eyes pointing upwards, to the sky.

Nabhichakre

The navel is the center of focus for the Nabhichakre drishti, meaning ‘to the (magical) navel-circle’.

Adho-Mukha-Shvanasana uses the Nabhichakre drishti.

Padayoragre

Padayoragre drishti, meaning ‘to the tips of the feet’, is gazing to the toes.

Basis of Drishti

The source of drishtis in yoga is limbs 5 and 6 from the eight limbs of yoga. The 5th limb of yoga pratyahara concerns sense withdrawal. To avoid the delusion and suffering caused by preoccupation with sense objects as described in the Maitri Upanishad, sense withdrawal is practiced in order to help the practitioner become ‘centered’. According to tantric philosophy, keeping ‘centered’ madhya will eventually suspend the mind and prana, allowing recognition of bhairava, or device consciousness.

The sixth limb of yoga dharana (concentration), includes maintaining drishti during yoga practice in order to ensure dhyana (meditation) will occur.

Variation Between Styles

There may be differences between different styles regarding how drishti is practiced and which ones are used for specific asanas, however drishti is a primary part of Hatha Yoga, Gyana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Raja Yoga traditions.

In Practice

As with many Yogic techniques, with drishti there is a danger of mistaking the technique for the goal. Dedicate your use of the body (including the eyes) to transcend your identification with it. So when you look at an object during your practice, don’t focus on it with a hard gaze. Instead, use a soft gaze, looking through it toward a vision of cosmic unity. Soften your focus to send your attention beyond outer appearance to inner essence.

In general, practitioners should use the various bahya (external) gazing points during more externally oriented yoga practices, including asanas, kriyas (cleansing practices), seva (the service work of karma yoga), and bhakti (devotion); use the antaric (internal) gaze to enhance contemplative and meditative practices. If you find yourself closing the eyes during any practice and focusing on the dramas or perplexities of life instead of being able to maintain a neutral, detached focus, re-establish an outer gaze. On the other hand, if the outer gaze becomes a distraction to your concentration, perhaps an inner-directed correction is necessary.

Constant application of drishti develops ekagrata, single-pointed focus. When you restrict your visual focus to one point, your attention doesn’t wander from object to object. Moreover, it becomes much easier for you to notice the internal wanderings of your attention and maintain balance in mind as well as body.

Drishti Gives The True View

A Yogi uses a vision comprised of viveka (discrimination between ‘real view’ and ‘unreal, apparent view’) and vairagya (detachment from a mistaken identification with either the instrument of seeing or that which is seen). Charged with yogic vision, we see our true Self. As we gaze at others, we perceive our own form, which is Love itself. We see their suffering as our own; our heart is filled with compassion for the struggles of all the souls. The yogic gaze emerges from an intense desire to achieve the highest goal of unitive consciousness, rather than from egoistic motives that create separation, limitation, judgment, and suffering.

Like all yogic practices, drishti uses the gifts of a human body and mind as a starting place for connecting with our full potential. When we clear our vision of the veils of habits, opinions, ideas, and their false projections about what is real and what is false, we gaze beyond outer differences toward the absolute Truth of internal oneness.

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

 Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

 

Nov 152015
 

SANSKRIT WORD ROOTS OF ASANA NAMES

MAKING THEM EASIER TO UNDERSTAND

Sanskrit Names for Asanas

If you are not sure what to do when the teacher calls for “Utkatasana”, or, can’t quite tell “Hasta padangusthasana” apart from “Chaturanga Dandasana”, or,  not clearly visualising “Prasarita Padottanasana”, or can’t get your mouth around “Utthitta Chaturanga Dandasaana”, here is some help! 

What is in a Name!

Two basic things make identification of asanas (poses) easier:

String of Pearls

First, you must know that those long Sanskrit words are in fact like strings of pearls. This is something peculiar to Sanskrit. For example, Paschimottanasana has 4 words in it:

  • Paschima (West or backside of the body);
  • Utt (intense)
  • tana (stretch);
  • Asana (pose).

Learning to identify the smaller words within the long name makes it easier not only to recognize but also helps to pronounce.

Common Mother Language

The second important point is that, in English (as well as other languages), we use words that are distant cousins to Sanskrit.

According to linguists, there are nineteen families of languages in the world, and the languages of the western world have developed from one original tongue. No written record exists of this mother tongue, but strong similarities between words in different western languages, called Indo-European languages, point to a common origin. With the demise of Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), newer theories have come up, but here is an indicative chart according to accepted theories at present:

Sanskrit_Language Tree

Many opinions are afloat even about the age of the Sanskrit. The oldest form of Sanskrit is Rigvedic (or Vedic)Sanskrit; so, some estimates can be made about the age of Sanskrit from the age of Vedas. Various postulates in vogue are:

  • The modern linguists place the age of the first book of Vedas, the Rig Veda, at about 1800 B.C., placing Sanskrit at 3,800 years of age.
  • Astronomical references in the Vedas, however, provide some broad approximations that help date the beginning of the tradition. Some Vedic notices mark the beginning of the year at the vernal equinox in Orion; this was the case around 4500 B.C. This places Sanskrit at 6,500 years of age.
  • Atreya, a descendant of Hindu sage Atri, was a well-known Ayurvedic expert from 6th century BCE.  Having lived in India for many years, he stated in Practical Atreya, “Ayurveda has very old roots, long before recorded history. Hinduism is a much later manifestation of the Vedic culture. Theoral tradition states that the first of the Vedas was composed about 40,000 years ago. This comes from my personal (Atreya’s) dialogs with yogis and teachers in India.  The oral traditions are still very much alive in India, when valuable information is passed orally from teacher to student”. This account implies that Ayurveda, and Sanskrit, have existed for approximately 42,000 years.
  • Some Indian Vedic scholars believe that creation, and so, Sanskrit – the divine language, is more than 2 billion years old.

Even according to first postulate, the oldest languages of the Indo-European family are Sanskrit (1800 B.C.), Greek (800 B.C.) and Latin (500 B.C.) French is a direct descendant of Latin, and about half of English words come from French. The Anglo-Saxon side of English, related to German, is also part of the big Indo-European family. According to Indian scriptures, Vedic language, which is the mother of Sanskrit, is said to be the mother of all languages.

One day in yoga class, this very obvious link was pointed out to me. I was explaining to the students that the asana they were doing was Janushirasana, and further expanded that janu meant knee and shir meant head. One student pointed out immediately that in French, the word for knee is genou, and is similarly pronounced like janu. There are so many other similar sounding words in languages : mother is ‘matri’ in Sanskrit, brother is ‘bhrata’, mrta is Sanskrit for dead or corpse and, in French, mort means death or dead and then goes on into English to show up again in mortuary (a place for the dead). This is a long list….

The Names of Asanas

Sanskrit Alphabets

Since the late 19th century, Sanskrit has been written mostly with the Devanagari alphabets. However it has also been written with all the other alphabets of India, except Gurmukhi and Tamil, and with other alphabets such as Thai and Tibetan. The Grantha, Sharda and Siddham alphabets are used only for Sanskrit. Since the late 18th century, Sanskrit has also been written with the Latin alphabet. The most commonly used system is the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST), which was been the standard for academic work since 1912.

Devanagari alphabets for Sanskrit

Vowels and vowel diacritics (ghosha)

Sanskrit Vowels

 

Consonants (vyanjana)

Sanskrit Consonants

 

Conjunct consonants (sanyoga)

There are about a thousand conjunct consonants, most of which combine two or three consonants. There are also some with four-consonant conjuncts and at least one well-known conjunct with five consonants. Here are some of the commonly-used conjuncts:

Sanskrit Conjunct Consonants

 

Pronunciation.

Do your best, keeping in mind that intention is important. Sanskrit is an implosive language – when you say Sanskrit words, the sound vibrations influence marmas, nadis and chakras.

Pronunciation of Sanskrit alphabets can be guttural, palatal, cerebral, dental or labial:

Sanskrit Names

Word Roots for Names of Asanas

The word-roots for names of asanas are mostly from four categories:

  1. anatomy
  2. animals
  3. sages and deities, and
  4. shapes of objects.

Additionally, names of poses are further broken down into numbers and characteristics of the pose. As we get acquainted with some of these basic translations within the asana, then the longer names of asanas start to become easily comprehensible.

Anatomy:

  1. Pada: foot/ leg (pied in French means foot, while pedestrian in English denotes someone on foot)
  2. Hasta: hand
  3. Anguli: fingers
  4. Angustha: big toe
  5. Janu: knee
  6. Shira or Shirsha: head
  7. Mukha: face
  8. Karna: ear
  9. Jathara: stomach
  10. Anga: limb
  11. Bhuja: arm
  12. Sarvanga: (sarva) whole (ang) body
  13. Shava: corpse
  14. Prana: breath/ lifeforce
  15. Pashchima: west direction (back side of body)
  16. Purva: east direction (front side of body)

Animals:

  1. Shvana: dog
  2. Bheka: frog
  3. Baka: crow
  4. Ushtra: camel
  5. Go: cow
  6. bhujanga: snake/ serpent
  7. kapota: pidgeon/ dove
  8. kurma: turtle
  9. matsya: fish
  10. shalabha: locust/ grasshopper

Sages and Deities:

  1. Bharadvaja: a sage; also the father of famous archer, Drona, who trained the cousins who would later became rivals and fight the famous war Mahabharata, of which Bhagwad Geeta is an excerpt.
  2. Garuda: was the king of the eagles; Garuda once provided transportation and carried Lord Vishnu to the aid of devotee, Gajendra who was in a life threatening situation.
  3. Marichi: son of Brahma and grandfather of Surya the sun god.
  4. Matsyendra: Lord of the Fishes; a fish heard all the teachings when Shiva was imparting knowledge of Yoga to Parvati. Shiva gave him divine form to then spread the knowledge of yoga.
  5. Surya: Sun god
  6. Virabhadra: the great warrior who sprang to Shiva’s aid to seek revenge on his father-in-law.
  7. Nataraja: one of the names of Shiva, the lord of the dance.
  8. Hanuman: chief of the monkey army; one of Rama’s greatest devotees who came to his aid. Hanuman made huge leaps across the sea- first to find Sita and then to save Rama’s brother.

Shapes of Objects:

  1. Parigha: gate latch
  2. Hala: plough, plow
  3. Vriksha: tree
  4. Tula: scales
  5. Tada: mountain or Palm tree
  6. Setu: bridge
  7. Nava: boat
  8. Mudra: seal
  9. Dhanur: bow
  10. Danda: rod/ staff/ stick
  11. Chandra: moon
  12. Vira: hero
  13. Asana: pose/ posture

Numbers:

  1. Eka: one
  2. Dwi: two, both (dwa in Polish, pronounced dva)
  3. Tri: three (trois in French)
  4. Chatur: four (cztery in Polish, pronounced ch-terry)
  5. Pancha: five
  6. Shat: six
  7. Sapta: seven
  8. Ashta: eight
  9. Nava: nine
  10. Dasha or Dasham: ten

Characteristics:

  1. Adho: downward
  2. Urdhva: raised/ upward
  3. Utthitta: extended, stretched.
  4. Parivritta: revolved
  5. Baddha: tied/ bound
  6. Supta: reclining/ sleeping
  7. Uttana: (utt) intense, (tan) stretch
  8. Sthiti: stability
  9. Upavistha: seated
  10. Prasarita: spread out
  11. Ardha: half
  12. Salamba: with support
  13. Nirlamba: without support
  14. Kona: angle
  15. Pida: pressure

These are only some of the representative root words.

 Delve deeper into this and many more informative topics in Yoga.

Please check out different Yoga Education courses at SAVY.

Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn ‘Sanskrit for Yoga’. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

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Nov 142015
 

CREATING RIGHT CONDITIONS FOR YOGA

Chakrasana

Yoga is about discovering your real inner self, about re-inventing or re-designing yourself. To achieve that, right conditions for Yoga have to be there. Yoga means you are moving towards expanding your consciousness, towards connecting yourself with the Super Consciousness or Super Intelligence. You have to create the necessary atmosphere to let this happen. When you were created the first time, it was not your choice – it happened from memory stored in inherited DNA! But now that you are reinventing yourself through Yoga, you can choose to go step-by-step, moving towards how you want yourself to be.

You expand your consciousness through Yoga. I’ve been asked many times how to do that – well, you don’t have to be explained when you are ready! This is something to be experienced. When you connect with the source of creation, you practically connect with a huge source of intelligence, the kind of intelligence that you won’t think is possible, which we mortals perceive as genius. To allow this to happen, there should be no obstacles. Some of the common obstacles can be removed easily. The Yoga teachings and methodology provided here have been perfected over thousands of years not only to optimize the benefits, but also to reduce any dangers and risks associated with awakening Kundalini Shakti prematurely. This approach helps avoid many of the difficulties involved with the premature awakening of Kundalini that one sometimes comes across. Please follow the following advice and feel the difference.

 

Cold Water Bath

Before beginning your practice, especially in the morning, it is better to take a bath with cold water which is about five degree Celsius lower than room temperature. This will open up the pores of your skin. This is important for practicing yoga because we want the cellular and energetic structure of the body to be charged with a different dimension. Also, it washes away the physical and emotional negativity accumulated over the preceding time. Why one person seems to be far more alive than the other is essentially because of energy. Once you are charged with energy, youthfulness stays for a very long time.

Yoga Attire

Yoga is generally practiced barefoot. Clothing should generally be loose and comfortable. It is advisable to keep the shoulders and spine covered, so practicing without any covering the upper body is not recommended. This has to do with the awakening, flow and distribution of Kundalini via the 3 main energy channels (ida, pingala and sushumna) that lie in and along the spinal cord.

A blanket can be used to cover the body after Yoga, especially after meditation, during the relaxation period. Keep the body covered and warm. Most Kriyas are followed by a period of relaxation that is usually done in corpse pose (shav-asana) and during this time the body temperature tends to drop, so a blanket can be used to keep the body warm and comfortable.

Yoga With Full Awareness

Keep your full focus on what you are doing. Try to be as aware as possible of every posture and movement you are making during your practice. Check throughout your yoga session where your mind is; if it has wandered, gently bring it back and focus again on the poses and the breathing. This is the most essential requirement of yoga, regardless of whether you are a beginner or a master. In addition, if certain feelings or energies awaken within you, bring your attention to them and just observe them taking their course as you progress through your practice.

Breathing

There is no Yoga without Pranayama! Yoga significantly relies on the Science of Pranayama (breathing exercises). Unless specified otherwise, all breathing should be done through the nose. 

Jal Neti (washing the nostrils with saline water) is recommended for cleaning the nasal passageways to help maximize the benefits of pranayama.

Safety

Some Yoga Kriyas can be quite challenging and it is recommended to always do warm-ups first before doing these tough sets and asanas. There are several good easy kriyas and sets, which work very well as warm-ups to the tough kriyas. It is especially important to do spinal warm-ups as charging the cerebrospinal fluid within the spinal cord and brain assists in the flow of awakened Kundalini Shakti. Don’t overdo it. Try to walk the middle road. This goes for both – your overall practice and also for each kriya and asana you do. In other words, each exercise you do should not be too easy and not too hard, and your overall practice should be equally balanced, between being ridiculously ambitious or excessively easy. With regard to your practice, try to establish a steady, long-term daily practice, rather than doing 10 hours a day for 2 weeks and then nothing after that.

Use common sense. For the difficult asanas and exercises, ease off a little if you feel you are risking injury. Also, feel free to increase the relaxation time between exercises or reduce the time suggested for doing a particular exercise to suit your pace. Yoga practice is all about you and only you. It is not a competition. So, listen to your body and let your inner voice guide and direct you.

Yoga Teachings

It is immensely important to initially learn Yoga from a knowledgeable and experienced teacher, the Guru, who can ensure that the understanding is accurately disseminated. Safety is a big concern. If possible you should at least try to attend a few live yoga classes so that you can get a feel of the asanas and pranayamas. Guru is very important. Later on, in absence of Guru, the Guru within is always available to guide you.

Good literature and websites can also provide some guidance for practicing yoga.

When to Practice Yoga 

In general Yoga should be practiced in the early morning hours. Early morning is called Brahma-Muhurta in Sanskrit. It literally means ‘The Divine Time’. This is the time of the day when the spiritual energy on our planet is at its highest. The air at that time is fresh and contains the greatest amount of prana (cosmic life force). The mind is also fresh and unburdened with the worries of everyday life. This will help in the practice of concentration and meditation. This is the time of day when you are least likely to be distracted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The stomach is empty, which is necessary before practicing many of the Yoga asanas and pranayamas.

But if you can’t do your practice at that time, it is acceptable to practice at other times of the day as well. Choice and intensity of Yoga postures is better optimized to the designated time.

Where to Practice Yoga

It is important for the place where you practice Yoga to be neat, spacious and clean, but more importantly, it should be well ventilated. You can also use a fan to keep the air fresh, but make sure it is not pointed directly at you. Practicing outdoors is even better, although direct sunlight should be avoided.

Yoga Diet

Try not to eat at least 3 hours before doing your Yoga practice. While practicing yoga asanas, you should not only be on an empty stomach, your bowels should also be empty. Anything that is not the body should be out of the body if you want to move your energies beneficially. Though they act on the physical body, or the annamaya kosha, as well, Yoga practices are not mere physical exercises; they act at the energy bodies as well. To achieve that, nothing should be there other than your body. So, the food you put in or the waste you produced, both these things should be out.

Given that Yoga uses many different bandhas (body locks), pranayamas (breathing exercises), asanas and vigorous movement, you could be quite uncomfortable if your stomach or bowels are still full. 

Although Yoga in general recommends a Sattvic diet (foods that promote calmness and clarity), and not Rajasic foods (energetic foods that promote activity) or Tamasic foods (foods that promote heaviness and dull the mind), due to the nature of Yoga, including some Rajasic foods in your diet is permissible. Still it is recommended that the bulk of your diet be Sattvic. Sattvic foods are generally fresh and sweet such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey etc. Rajasic foods are generally spicy and stimulating, such as onions, garlic, eggs, fish, tea etc. Tamasic foods are fatty foods, stale food, meat, etc.

Yoga Kriyas are designed to force the organs, tissues, nerves and vessels to expel buried toxins out into the elimination systems of the body. So some time after any Kriyas or tough yoga set, one should drink plenty of water to help cleanse the body of the toxins and waste that have been released.

Keep Your Eyes Closed

Just closing eyes reduces 75% of alpha wave activity in brain. So, for us humans, shutting down the visual apparatus is quite important to quieten the mind. You see this world with your eyes, and you hold a lot of energy in your eyes. When eyes are closed, the outer world disappears. The eyes naturally close for any internal experience because the visual apparatus connects us with the outward. If you just close them, you can still hear, smell and feel, but much of the world is shut out. So, focus on internal experience happens best when your eyes are closed. When you’re doing Yoga, you want to internalize everything. So, keep your eyes closed during yoga.

Speaking

Not talking during the asana should not be just a norm in Yoga classes, it should be a rule! Asanas are dynamic meditation – because you are not yet capable of staying still, you’re doing something else to become meditative, that which is absolutely comfortable and stable is your asana. When your body is at ease, your mind is at ease and your energies flow freely, in complete vibrancy and balance. If you sit still, you are naturally meditative. To come to a state of natural meditation, the preparatory step is asana.

If you speak, many disturbances happen physiologically and energetically. You must never speak in postures because your focus, breath and what happens to your energy system are most important; otherwise you will disturb the system. If you have to speak, come out of asana and then do it. 

Using Mirrors/Listening to Music

Ideally, there should never be a mirror or music when you practice Hatha Yoga. This culture of using mirrors has come from body-building and gymnasia because, there, people want to admire their physical bodies. In yoga, that is not recommended at all. If you look at yogis, their physical structure is not like that of an athlete – they are quite ordinary; some are even plump! For Yogis, the only thing important to them is their consciousness which must grow. If you want to get the involvement of that which is the source of creation within you, your body, mind, and energy must be absolutely involved and aligned. And your mental focus is most important while practicing asanas.

Classical yoga demands aligning your body, mind and energy, and the innermost core. You have to give your one hundred percent for the source of creation, which we usually refer to as the divine, to yield. If you hold back or deviate a little, it will not be there for you.

Frequency of Practice

The Yoga Sutra says – sthira sukham asanam – an asana should be comfortable and stable. The goal of asana practice is to achieve a state where your asana is comfortable and stable; even if you remain in a posture for hours, it should stay the same, without eliciting any disturbances internally. That is when your perception starts expanding.

The intention of Hatha Yoga practice is to knead the body in such a way that we can remold it. So, whatever time you want to devote, should be done with one hundred percent involvement. In true spirit of Yoga, doing yoga every day or twice a week – that doesn’t really matter!

Human body is clay. Karma, or the established memory, makes it rigid. . It is because of this memory that the physical, physiological and psychological aspects becomes rigid. Through Yoga, we try to undo that. Then, you can shape it whichever way you want because the energies become fluid.

 Delve deeper into this and many more informative topics in Yoga. Please check different Yoga Education courses at SAVYJitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

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p style=”text-align: center;”>President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to book your spot in our Yoga classes. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

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