YOGA & AYURVEDA: The terms Veda and Yoga always go together as knowledge and practice. Ayurvedic Yoga is inherently a Yoga, which implies a system of internal balance, integration and the development of higher awareness. It is not to be confused as a “style” of yoga but rather a practice born of an eternal tradition. Veda Yoga is the union of both the sciences of Yoga & Ayurveda. It is founded on the scientific principles of Tri-dosha. Its aim on a therapeutic level is to bring the elemental forces of air, fire and water into balance, and with its spiritual counterpart its aim is in cultivating a higher level of consciousness. Therefore all practices contain Five Main Components essential to achieving a perfect balance. Postures (asanas) provide the foundation for each class combined with various breathing (pranayamas), mantras (sounds) and concentration (dharana) techniques all to prepare the student for a final state of relaxation and contemplation in meditation (dhyana).
ASANA’S (Postures) - the approach to asana is that a practice should contain all the main types of asana necessary for relaxing and preparing the body. They include balancing, seated, expansive and contractive. Postures are blended by sequential movement and breath (vinyasa) or in a more traditional approach. The emphasis is on the degree and exertion perdoshic type.
PRANAYAMA (Breathing exercises) - several forms of breathing are used (Nadi Shodhana, Shakti Pranayama, Triprana) to cleanse the nadis (nerve channel systems) both mental and physical. Pranayama is also used as a tool for quieting the mind which is a pre-requisite to proper meditation. The emphasis is in learning to control and direct prana, the life force. The awakening and upward motion of this force via the central spinal channel (sushumna) brings about our higher faculties of wisdom, peace & compassion.
PRATYAHARA (Relaxation techniques) – When the mind is harmonious we are better able to achieve mastery over the senses that bind us to the outer world. Mantras facilitate the process of awakening our buddhi or higher mind.
DHARANA (Concentration techniques) - emphasizes control of the mind to direct our will power to a particular task. Focus techniques involves developing and extending our power of right attention. By directing our attention on certain objects or ideas we improve our ability to be present in the moment. "The practice of dharana increases our level of presence and peace, by enabling us to forget about the past and not think about the future, but be right here, right now!
Both Yoga & Ayurveda culminate in the practice of meditation. Every class ends in a deep moment of stillness and expands our awareness beyond the ego into the realm of spirit. Meditation is the ultimate Yoga practice that brings man into accord with his true nature.
The Dancing Shiva (Nataraj) represents Shiva disguised as a beggar and accompanied by Vishnu who was disguised as a beautiful women set out to the forest to subdue ten thousand holy men. In Shiva's famous "Ananda Tandava" dance of bliss, he is depicted dancing on a dwarf that represents ignorance. Therefore we practice to destroy our own ignorance with the great sister sciences of Yoga & Ayrurveda.