What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient science which has been practiced for thousands of years. Asana (postures), pranayama (breath control), and meditation are all parts of yoga, but individually they are not a complete yoga practice. According to the great sage Patanjali, the founder of yoga philosophy, yoga is the spiritual effort to attain perfection through the control of the body, senses, and mind, and through right discrimination between body and consciousness. He defines yoga as “control of the modifications of the mind”. Generally we can say “yoga” means union or communion, but if we dig deeper we can find that various scriptures and philosophies have different definitions and meanings of the term yoga.
During your yoga teacher training course with us, you will learn about the various traditions and philosophies of yoga that have evolved through thousands of years of yoga study and practice.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga brings many benefits for the individual on various levels. Physically, yoga increases health, prevents and heals diseases, and makes the body more strong and flexible. On a mental level, yoga relieves stress, brings happiness to the mind, and increases overall satisfaction with life. Spiritually, yoga helps the practitioner to move beyond the physical limits of the material word by removing distractions from the mind, allowing for a greater connection with the divine. Yoga brings release from suffering and elevates the consciousness level of the dedicated practitioner.
Improvements in posture due to a focus on body awareness, strengthening core muscles, and opening the chest area for better breathing
Ability to breath deeper, which leads to better function of the respiratory system, decreasing problems such as asthma
Lowers blood pressure and slows the heart rate when practiced properly
Improved function of the circulatory system, allowing more oxygen to enter the bloodstream and move throughout the body
Improves digestion from practicing poses which work into the abdominal area such as twists, and deep breathing which massages the internal organs in the lower abdomen.
Increases the body’s ability to heal itself due to increased blood flow throughout the body
Relieves anxiety as a result of deep breathing practices as well as a constant focus on the present moment and surrendering of self to divine will
A natural aphrodisiac, increasing your ability to be more present with your partner
Improvements in concentration, memory, and more thoughtful decision making
Decrease of wrinkles and other skin problems as a result of increased blood flow and oxygen
Increases the capacity of self-love, resulting in an better ability to love others
Improves creativity and intuition
Deepens meditation practice
Need for Yoga in our Modern Time
Many illnesses today are caused by increased stress, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and inability to breathe properly. Because of these conditions, along with other poor lifestyle choices, we have created a system of terrible health throughout much of the world. By incorporating a few lifestyle changes and ancient yoga techniques into your daily life, you will learn to improve your overall health physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Doctors have tried in more recent times to solve common health problems through germ theories, antibiotics, vaccines, and surgeries. However, many researchers are now beginning to see the role of mind on matter. Preventative medicine is also becoming more popular in an attempt to find and prevent the root cause of the ailment as opposed to its symptoms. Researchers are recognizing the important role of lifestyle, stress, and emotions on the overall health of the individual. As a result of this more current research, health professionals have been more open to holistic treatments such as Ayurveda and yoga.
On a mental level, many people in today’s society find it difficult to achieve a peaceful state of mind. As constant pressure from work, family life, and personal concerns build, there is a tendency to look outside oneself into the material world for relief or enjoyment. Many people forget that we each have the capacity to achieve happiness and fulfillment in life by very simple means, without material things. For this reason, yoga is helpful for the modern man in encouraging non-possessiveness, freedom from material desires, and contentment as part of the overall yogic path to enlightenment.
Different Types of Yoga
In our program, we focus mostly on traditional Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and Sivananda Yoga. However, there exists many other schools of yoga which have been around for centuries, as well as more recent modifications of yoga traditions. Here is a list of a few different types of yoga and their differences:
1 Bhakti Yoga: The yoga of devotion, practiced by attending religious ceremonies, daily prayer, reading religious literature, and surrendering one’s life to the divine purpose.
2 Manta/Jaba Yoga: Practiced by repeating a sacred manta or jaba (sound) over many times to enter into a state of meditation and complete one pointed focus
3 Kriya Yoga: The practice of Tapas (Austerity), Svadhyaya (Self-study), and Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender to God) to achieve samadhi (the highest level of meditation)
4 Karma Yoga: The yoga of perfect action. Performing all actions without desire for reward. Devoting one’s full energy towards good action instead of thinking of worldly pleasures.
5 Jyana: The yoga of “true knowledge”, which emphasizes studying spiritual literature and removing all ignorance from the mind
6 Hatha: The yoga of the will, which involves cultivating ones energy to arise kundalini primarily by means of asana (postures), pranayama (breath control), mudras (gestures), and bandhas (locks).
7 Sivandanda: A type of Hatha Yoga which focuses on deep breathing and full relaxation
8 Ashtanga: The yoga of the eight fold path of Patanjali consisting of Yamas (Social Conduct), Niyamas (Personal Conduct), Asana (Postures), Pranayama (Breath Control), Pratyahara (Sense Withdraw), Dharana (Concentration), Dhayana (Meditation), and Samadhi (Deep meditation/enlightenment).
Yoga Teacher Training at Chandra Yoga..
Chandra Yoga School offers both 200 hour beginner and 300 hour advanced level yoga teacher training courses. Our Yoga Teacher Training Courses provide a deep understanding of theoretical and practical knowledge, fully preparing students to be inspiring yoga teachers. Upon completion of the training programs, the participant will be able to register as a teacher with the Yoga Alliance, the most widely recognized international yoga organization. The yoga teacher training courses are immersive, residential programs which include accommodations, meals, and classes in meditation, philosophy, asana, and anatomy, among other topics.