Understanding the Definitions of Yoga
Connect with the wisdom of the masters of Yoga
To gain a deeper understanding of Yoga it is useful to learn from the great masters of Yogic science. These masters dedicated their lives to the practice and propogation. It is worthwhile to try to understand their point of view and how they saw the practice. You will also learn the difference between what you might call the "styles" of yoga.
You will be introduced to Paramahamsa Yogananda, Swami Vivekananda, and Sri Aurobindu. All were well recognized and fairly modern masters.
We will also explore what is Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, and more.
Classical Definitions of Yoga
What do the ancient yogic texts say?
Yogic philosphy is very well developed, with no lack of ancient sources for us to refer to and learn from. In this class you will be introduced to a few of the sacred texts on yoga and some definitions that they bring to light. It is eye opening to see the "truth" about the practice of yoga as it is meant to be, rather than the modern version that it has become.
In this class you will learn about four different ancient texts on Yoga: Yoga Sutra, Yoga Vashishta, Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Each gives a unique perspective on the spiritual practice.
Intro to the Koshas
How is Yoga a spiritual practice?
This class helps us to answer this question. Yoga is based on the understanding that our physical body is just the surface existence of who we are. There are further "hidden" layers to our being that go beyond physical... and therefore are spiritual. These layers can be experienced by everyone who follows yogic methods.
This is the concept of Koshas, or "coverings." There are five different coverings or layers to our being - with the physical being the more superficial layer. Learn about all five in this class!
Intro to the Eight Limbs of Yoga
All yogic practice follows a systematic method.
If you know and understand that method then you can understand every kind of yogic technique and where it fits into your spiritual journey. This is based on an ancient text called the Yoga Sutras, written by the great sage Patanjali. The eight limbs of Yoga are a description of the process you take through Yoga to arrive at spiritual experience.
The Yoga Sutras is perhaps one of the most well-known of the yogic texts. Certainly it is what modern yoga depends on the most.
Introduction to Kundalini
Deep within every person there is a sleeping power.
It's called Kundalini Shakti, the evolutionary power. There is so much about Kundalini now on the internet and it's hard to know how much of it is authentic. This class is based on the teachings of my master and my direct experiences with Kundalini. He would often say to his students, "only someone who has experienced can really show you the way."
This is a mysterious topic that I have tried my best to bring into the modern light. And to present it in a way that is accessible to modern sensibility. But I will echo what my own teacher has said, only the experience of it will inform you. Certainly it has been that way for my own students.
Intro to Chakras
The root of our spiritual practice is working with chakras.
Just as with Kundalini, there is much on the internet that can be found about your chakras, or energy centers. The reality is that for most people using postures, breathing, gems, and mantras the chakras will remain inaccessible. It takes a certain skill and awakening in our yoga practice before we can begin feeling these energy centers and working with them meaningfully.
But knowing about them is an important step. By knowing what lies deep within us we are inspired to discover and experience.