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The ancient yogi’s had it right. The complete system of yoga encompasses morality, discipline, physical movement and practices, meditation, and various other techniques to change our mind and bodies, and connect us with spirit. Yoga offers profound effects on the nervous and glandular system, as well as for the overall balance, strength, and flexibility of both body and mind.
Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) places an extraordinary emphasis on the transformation of personal energy systems associated with the body and mind, thus greatly affecting the synchronization of the nervous and glandular system. Referred to as “the yoga of awareness”, this multi-faceted practice engages the practitioner in breathing techniques (pranayama), physical movements/sequences (kriyas), and meditations that release energetic blockages, balance the hormones and nervous system, and bring connection to ones own spiritual core and beyond. It aligns practitioners with a pursuit for authentic connection and divinity that is derived internally, helping individuals to develop an understanding and acceptance of their own power and radiance.
Classical hatha yoga aims to cultivate balance within and between our bodies, minds, and personal energy systems. The system makes use of asana/physical postures, pranayama/breathing techniques, and meditation to purify the body and mind, developing the awareness to move toward enlightenment (and beyond). The various postures work not only to cleanse the body and bring the mental activities into control and balance, but have deep effects on the chakra system and other energetic components of oneself.
I teach both Kundalini and Hatha yoga according to the eight limbed path laid out by the great sage Patanjali. He dictated a system wherein practitioners work rung by rung up the ladder of yoga, which progresses from very gross and external experiences to increasingly more subtle experiences.
- Yamas • Social Ethics (External restraints)
- Ahimsa • Non-harming
- Satya • Truthfulness
- Asteya • Non stealing
- Brahmacharya • Moderation and sensory control
- Aparigraha • Non-grasping
- Niyamas • Disipline (Inner observances)
- Saucha • Cleanliness, purity
- Santosha • Contentment
- Tapas • Zeal, austerity
- Svadhyaya • Self-study
- Ishvara Pranidhana • Surrender to God (Spirit, Creator, whatever you get down with, but I can’t water this one down)
- Asana • Physical postures
- Pranayama • Breath techniques to control and direct vital energy
- Pratyahara • Sensory withdrawal
- Dharana • One-pointed focus/concentration
- Dhyana • Deep meditation
- Samadhi • Absorption with Spirit