Connecting to traditional yoga

My yogic journey started with meeting my first teacher. One of her classes was enough to re-connect me with something deep inside of me that I couldn’t put into words. There was a clarity and a depth in the simple practices she taught that I had not experienced before. I had gone to other yoga classes but something here was different! I said to myself: “If THIS is yoga, I am going to learn everything about it!” And so it began…

4 years later and I am still here at the Yoga Retreat Centre where I first met my teacher. Now we are colleagues – teaching together on the yoga teacher training. And mostly, we are friends. We are sangha – we belong to the same group of like-minded yogis, following the yogic tradition.

Before I experienced traditional yoga, I had only known “fitness yoga” – classes that focus on the physical benefits. They don’t go beyond the body much. Compared to traditional yoga they feel a bit empty to me, a bit cut off from the roots. It for sure is a bridge for people being new to yoga. I am very grateful though that I got to connect to the Bihar School of Yoga and through their books and resources to the Satyananda Yoga Tradition. Yoga is so much more than physical exercise – it is a path to transformation!

In traditional Hatha Yoga we address the physical layer through asanas (postures) and different purification practices (shatkarmas) in order to prepare the body to sit still in meditation. Through the asanas and pranayama practices we also affect the mind. Goal is to master the mind, to befriend its natural tendencies and to integrate all the parts of ourselves. It’s unification on all levels. Meditation is a path and a practice and a state of being that can saturate our every day life. I am all passionate about discovering yoga more in depth, about integrating yogic principles into my life and about following the spiritual call to a life in harmony with myself, my surrounding and the elements. 

Hari aum tat sat.

Reference: Hatha Yoga Book 2 – Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati, Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, India. 

Havan (Vedic fire ceremony for transformation)

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