The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means to join or to yoke. Yoga is a spiritual discipline, a Sadhana to realise one's full potential, Self Realisation. The practice of yoga Asanas and Pranayama have additional physical and mental benefits. It makes the body strong and flexible and improves the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems, also brings about emotional stability and clarity of mind. In the practice of Yoga the ultimate aims are self-development and self-realization.
"Each soul is potentially Divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling Nature, external and internal. Do it either by Works (Karma Yoga – Path of Action) or Worship (Bhakti Yoga – Path of Love & Surrender) or Psychic control (Raja Yoga – Path of Will Power) or Philosophy (Jnana Yoga – Path of Intellect); by one or more, or all of these and set yourself free." – Swami Vivekananda
All four paths lead to the same goal of Moksha. Which path should one choose? It depends on the individual nature. Some are naturally active friendly and like to help others (Karma Yoga). Some are loving and devotional (Bhakti Yoga), others with strong discriminatory intellect (Jnana Yoga) and some strong willed go-getters (Raja Yoga or Astanga Yoga). But all can pursue one or the other path under different circumstances in life.
Yoga Class is based on Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga. It begins with Yoga Asanas followed by Pranyama and Prayers before and after Meditation.
Asana is defined as Sthira, Sukha Asanum i.e. Steady, Relaxed and Physically Comfortable Posture. They are of two types:
- Asanas for Meditation e.g. Padmasana, Siddhasana, Sukhasana etc.
- Asanas for Physical Health and Wellbeing e.g. Triconasana, Paschimotasana, Ushtrasana, Ardha Matyendrasana, Bhujangasana etc.
Patanjali defines Pranayama as Swasha Praswashayor Gati Vichedha. Prana is the infinite, omnipresent power manifesting in the universe. It forms the very fabric of creation. From Prana is evolved the whole of creation. Matter and energy are its lowest manifestations. Ayama means rest. Hence Pranyama means controlling an even flow of Prana in and out of the body (Puraka and Rechka) with rest in between (Kumbhaka). They are of two types:
- Those principally for calming and preparing the mind for meditation e.g. Anuloma Viloma pranayama, Nadi Shuddhi pranyama etc.
- And others for cleansing the sinuses, developing lung capacity and strengthening the muscles of the rib cage and diaphragm used for breathing e.g. Kapalbhati, Bhastrika etc.
Meditation begins with a prayer: Om Asatoma Sat Gamaya, Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya, Mrutyrma Amruta Gamaya, Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. Asking the Lord to lead us from unreal to real, from darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge and from the cycle of birth and death to immortality. We end meditation with a prayer:
Om Sarwetra Sukhena Santu,
Sarway Santu Niramaya,
Sarway Bhadrani Pashyntu,
Ma Kaschid Dukha Mapnuyat.
Om Shanthi! Shanthi! Shanthi Hi!
Asking the lord to bestow happiness, freedom from ignorance, vision to see the best in all and non suffering in life.
Timings for Yoga Class
- Every Sunday - 8:00am to 9:00am by Shriniwas Kanhere
- Every Wednesday - 6:00pm to 7:00pm by Hansraj Arora