What is Yoga?

And now... YOGA

"Atha Yoganushasanam"

Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Sutra I:1

You probably landed on this page because you are a beginner. Perhaps you are just curious about yoga or feel drawn to it. Or perhaps you have been suffering and have discovered that nothing external provides long-lasting peace and happiness. Hence, you are in search of something that does. So now yoga, as the Sutra says. This means you are ready to start this amazing journey!

Likely, your head is filled up with images of fancy and impossible postures as the idea of what yoga is. That is just an aspect of it, which by the way, you don't have to go all that way through, or at all. It is a choice.

The physical aspect of yoga -asanas or postures- is part of a preparatory process directed to attain a state which is what we refer to as Yoga. Yoga means union, generally taken as the union of mind and body, but in reality, it is far more than that. It is union with everything, with all and nothing, it is the complete dissolution of what you consider yourself to be, in order to truly find who you are. And who you are can only be experienced, is far more than we can understand with our intellect. This is what is known as liberation or Moksha. Also known as Self-realisation. Most of us are not there, and may not get there in this life, but we can get to experience glimpses of our true nature. With this, a lot of peace and tranquillity is developed because the control of the mind is indispensable to attain liberation. Most of us are slaves of our minds, but here you must become the Master. Therefore, as you train, you start getting more control over your mind and as you do, you realise you are not it.

Another of the "Yoga Sutras" of Patanjali, the great sage, is "Yoga citta vittris nirodaha". Meaning that when the fluctuations (vittris - thoughts) of the mind (citta) cease to exist (nirodaha), one rests in its true nature, the state of yoga. Mind refers to the conscious. unconscious, and subconscious mind. What we are is beyond all these states of mind, It observes and masters the mind, therefore It cannot be explained nor attain with the mind. It is the Awareness, the observer and witness of all the states of mind and exists even during deep sleep.

There are many traditions of yoga, many paths, all with the same aim. These paths exist to "cater" for the different qualities of mind people may have, therefore not every path is suitable for everyone. Some paths use more the body, some more the mind, some require particular life circumstances, etc.

There is Hatha Yoga (uses the body), Kriya Yoga (uses the energy), Bakti Yoga (uses devotion), Karma Yoga (uses action), Jnana Yoga (uses knowledge), Nada Yoga (uses sound), Raja Yoga (Royal Yoga - follows the Ashtanga or 8 limb path), Japa Yoga (uses prayer), Kundalini Yoga (awakening of dormant Shakti energy), Tantra Yoga (uses the mind) and Atma-Vichara (Self-inquiry). All these are grouped into 4 main "margas": Self-Inquiry, Karma, Jnana and Yoga. Most commonly know yoga falls within the Yoga Marga.

 

What you have heard as Yin Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Vinyasa, Hatha Flow, Hot Yoga etc, are all part of the Hatha Yoga line in the sense that they have a strong physical (asana) component and generally have evolved from the traditional practice. However, most of these are modern and/or westernised versions of yoga, frequently missing the depth of the genuine practice. There is traditional or classical Hatha Yoga, which has been less modified from its original roots, in some places still pure.

Here you'll learn Hatha Yoga in the traditional way, in addition to other techniques that can help you find peace and also your own path. Go to the ABOUT page to get a general understanding of what we offer, or to OUR CLASSES page to read about each of the services we provide and to PLANS to read choose your membership.

The best way to learn is one-on-one,, however, it is not a financial option for most people.

Much metta (loving-kindness) in your journey! May I be honoured and able to lead you well.

With love,

Catalina

 

 

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