Interior Hall at Siva Yoga Peet, Rishikesh. Photo Credit: Debra Galvin
BY DEBRA GALVIN
India was always my chosen destination for a Yoga Teacher Training course and my super-star husband Mike made it a reality this July – September. The 500-hour course was my birthday present. Based on Internet reviews and feedback, he chose, from the myriad ashrams, Shiva Yoga Peeth. (more…)
Course Director, Lila Lolling, demonstrating an Asana adjustment on a student. Photo: Uma Ndam
Yoga is a personal practice. It’s a practice that caters to you on an individual level while keeping in mind your physical abilities and limitations. If we take a leaf from how traditional yoga was practised, the teacher personalised asana, pranayama and meditation methods based on the student’s needs. Cut to today’s modern studio environment where yoga teachers are leading students through pre-planned sequences, often unsure of how to adapt classical postures for the modern body. This could lead to students injuring themselves or feeling insecure by not having adapted postures for their varied abilities.
Initiation ceremony at Vinyasa Yoga Academy, Rishikesh. Photo Source: Kelsea Walsh
BY KELSEA WALSH
I’ve always had an affinity for yoga and Eastern traditions. Travelling to Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training in June 2017. In this blog post, I’ve outlined: my experience, and my opinion of the course and teachers as a student from Canada. (more…)
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…)