Yamas & Niyamas according to Patanjali. Photo Credit: Coni Hörler
BY SUSHANT PANDEY
Raja yoga is understood as one of the classical branches of the yoga tradition. Literally, the term ‘Raja Yoga’ connotes, the culmination or highest state of yoga. Raja means royal; it is so named because it enables the yogin to reach the illustrious king within oneself, the supreme self or atman. In various texts or scriptures of yoga, this term is used in different context as well. In Hatha Yoga Pradipika; one of the most popular traditional Hatha yoga texts; it is mentioned that ‘the knowledge of Hatha yoga is only for Raja Yoga’. (Verse 2/chapter 1).
The term Raja Yoga used here stands for highest state or culmination of yoga i.e. Samadhi or the state of transcendence. Here most scholars and aspirants get confused that purpose of Hatha Yoga is to prepare one for Patanjali’s Raja Yoga. But here in Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the author (swami Swatmarama) is referring to attaining the state of Samadhi through Hatha yoga. Raja Yoga, therefore, refers to the highest state of yoga practice i.e. practices leading to the state of Samadhi. (more…)
I often get approached by people, who ask for recommendations of ashrams in India where they can study yoga. At some point in time, both beginners in yoga and experienced yoga practitioners long to come closer to the source of knowledge.
Before suggesting a concrete place to go, I always ask, what is the real motivation for them to undertake such a journey. Is it the desire to advance their physical yoga practice, is it the search for spiritual growth, a way to heal from a trauma to detox body and mind, or maybe just an idea to spend a holiday in a useful way? For many, a yoga retreat in a beautiful set up in Goa or a residential stay in a yoga school can be just a much better option.
When you do decide to go to a real ashram to study yoga, there are a few things to consider, that will help you understand if it is the right place for you to stay. (more…)
BY SUSHANT PANDEY
The process of meditation entails centering, mindfulness and internalization of awareness. Traditionally, the process of meditation is seen as a continuous process of an inward journey from the field of sensorial dimension to the innermost state of being. Technically this process begins with the stage of Pratyahara (withdrawal of mind). Pratyahara is the first and foremost stage of meditation which starts with the awareness and acknowledgement of sensorial inputs and simultaneous witnessing awareness. There are many techniques which are employed to help facilitate this process of mind-withdrawal. (more…)
BY VRITIKA JHUNJHUNWALA
Religion and spirituality hold a significant place in Indian culture and the nation is almost brimming with mystics, sages and ascetics. Some are fraudulent but some have been known to benefit humanity in their unique way of imparting spiritual wisdom. Through these gurus, people all over the world connect with the supreme power within which leads to a healthier and happier life. Below is a list of 6 prominent Indian spiritualists who have contributed to the well-being of people and society as a whole. (more…)
Yoga at Sagar University. Picture Source: Youtube.com
BY VRITIKA JHUNJHUNWALA
Yoga is quickly being recognized by modern Indians and Westerners as a proper science and one of the leading institutions that help to impart this ancient knowledge is Sagar University.
Dr Hari Singh Gour University, formerly and more popularly known as Sagar University is located in the city of Sagar, the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It was formerly named “Sagar University” when founded on 18 July 1946, during the British Raj. Based on a research study conducted recently by the government, more than 3,500 government and private Indian universities were assessed based on various parameters, including research facilities, students’ employability and popular perception and Sagar University along with IIT and IIM-I ranked as the top universities in Madhya Pradesh. (more…)
KPJAYI, Mysore, India. Photograph – Coni Hörler
BY GOWRISHANKAR HOSAKERE
One of the first things I asked myself when I started Samyama Academy of Yoga was, “What is it that I want to teach?” and “How much fees should I charge the students?” I wanted to find my expression in a wide variety of meanings, as yoga the age-old and oft-misrepresented science is taught in various schools today. (more…)