Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What is Classical Yoga or Traditional Yoga?

Understanding Yoga as on of the Indian systems of philosophy;
Understanding Yoga as a path for Self-realization;
Understanding Yoga as way of life;
Understanding Yoga in its entirety (not just taking one part of it).

All of the above is meant when we say Classical or Traditional Yoga.
Raja Yoga can also be called as Ashtanga Yoga or Patanjali Ashtanga Yoga.

So lets understand what is Raja Yoga or Patanjali Ashtanga Yoga in brief:

Raja literally means 'king' or 'royal'.
Raja Yoga may refer to one of the paths of Yoga amongst the 4 valid paths; the other 3 paths being Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga.
But in reality it is the culmination of all Yogic disciplines and efforts. So Raja Yoga actually refers to the highest states of Yoga.

Patanjali, was a great sage who systematized the entire path of Yoga in his 195 sutras. And, in this way he has contributed to the human society this great work on spirituality and human psychology. Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga consists of eight parts, often called as eight-limbs-of-yoga. Yoga traditionalist and scholars devote their entire lives in studying, learning and practicing the Yoga sutras of Patanjali.

Our beloved Guru Hansaji had once said to me that "the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali serve as a path for the humans to help themselves to come out of the turmoil of life".

It is a highly organized path, giving precise directions and guidelines to humans who are interested in spiritual and self-development.

So the eight disciplines of Ashtanga Yoga are:

1) Yama - Universal ethics; the don't(s) - five in total
2) Niyama - Personal observances; the do(s) - five in total
3) Asana - Physical postures

In a systematic and traditional path of Yoga, it is highly essential to place ethics and observances before physical postures. The first two steps empower a human to sublimate his negative tendencies, freeing the mind from many negativities. Then only, a deep awareness and control on the body can be gained. A total understanding over the body can be achieved when our thoughts, our behaviour, our entire lifestyle is pure. Otherwise, as our Gurus say "asanas will also become a materialistic way, to show off, to compete". Asanas will lose their deep spiritual purpose without the practice of Yamas and Niyamas.

4) Pranayama - Training of the bio-energy
5) Pratyahara - Sense withdrawal from sense objects
6) Dharana - Concentration
7) Dhyana - Meditation
8) Samadhi - Deep absorption in consciousness state.

To really understand Yoga, one has to experience it. It is an experiential science. It is a way of life, a very profound philosophy which needs to be put into application. It leads to an overall transformation of the human personality on all the planes.

Our entire Yoga Teacher Training course 200 hours and advanced 300 hours is based on Raja Yoga. It is a Classical Yoga training, with a traditional approach. 

All the techniques practiced in our center are scientifically taught. Here the students get to understand Yoga from the scratch, from its very roots. We get many students from different walks of life, some who have not practiced any Yoga, no yoga asanas. On the other hand, we also get so many students who had been doing Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Ashtanga ‘Vinyasa’ Yoga, Power Yoga and such styles of physical practices. There are just so many styles. Today so many fancy names are put in front of Yoga.

But these are just some 'styles' of doing an exercise.
If it is not done with the right attitude, it is actually not 'Yoga'.
Even a style of asana has been now called as 'Ashtanga Yoga', but it is only an exercise style and many a times it can get confusing for a person who does not know the real meaning of Ashtanga Yoga. 

Yes, Yoga has a part called Asanas, which is important. But the other parts are equally important and cannot be neglected. A good routine, healthy food, natural environment, healthy inter-personal relationships, personal hygiene, daily exercises and body cleansing, breath work, meditation, and so many other things all make up Yoga. This is what we are committed to pursue and teach. In order to help yourself and to help others, we highly recommend that you choose to study and practice Yoga in its entirety. That would be Classical Yoga or Traditional Yoga :-)


Wise Living Yoga Academy is authorized to impart Yoga Teacher Training Courses on the tradition of The Yoga Institute of Santacruz in Mumbai, India – the world’s oldest organized Yoga Institution. The residential programs are held regularly in Bali (Indonesia), Chiang Mai (Thailand) & Minas Gerais (Brazil) throughout the year and are accredited by the Yoga Alliance USA, allowing the graduates to teach Yoga in any part of the world.

The 200 hours courses and the Advanced 300 & 500 hours Yoga Teacher Training Courses are conducted regularly in our new permanent Yoga Center in Doi Saket, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Please follow the links to know more about all the scheduled
Yoga Teacher Training Courses (YTTC)  in 2013:

No comments:

Post a Comment