Find out more about Yoga

                                                       
Yoga in your life

 

Yoga can be used to link the body and the mind. It can help cultivate and maintain a state of concentration and develop the body and the breath using various postures and breathing techniques. It can also be used as a means of self enquiry and a tool to help us reach a deeper understanding of ourselves.

 

Yoga can be a healing therapy to help us work at changing or avoiding the effects of problems and illness in our lives. According to traditional Indian medicine those diseases that are chronic and cannot be cured by medicine alone can also be helped by using Yoga techniques. So Yoga can be used as a support alongside other forms of treatment.
 
 What is Jivan Yoga?
Jivan means 'being alive'. Jivan yoga is yoga for the whole of life.

Yoga uses physical postures and mental concentration to help develop a strong body and a steady mind. My teaching is based on the principle of 'intelligent application' of Yoga, or 'vini-yoga', adapting postures to suit the physical ability, age and goals of each individual. In this way, Yoga can be practised by anyone who would like to try, and yet it can stretch and challenge even those with athletic abilities. 


Professor T. Krishnamacharya was one of the most influential yogis of the 20th century. He taught that yoga should always be adapted to the needs; circumstances and goals of each student, never should the student change to fit the yoga. Rather than demanding perfection in posture, practices respect the student’s age and general level of health. Teachers also consider a person’s lifestyle, needs, goals, strengths and weaknesses.

 

Jivan Yoga aims to follow this tradition and offers Yoga appropriate to each person and their situation. 

 

"Yoga must be presented intelligently. It should be ..... offered according to the aspiration, requirement and the culture of the individual. This should be done in stages. Systematic application of Yoga – be it concerned with physical exercises, deep breathing, relaxation, meditation, lifestyle, food, studies – is the need of the day. This I believe – is what the word viniyoga represents.” TKV Desikachar: ‘The viniyoga of Yoga (1983)

 

Self-observation

Self-observation is an important elemnt of Yoga practice. It allows us to know where we are starting from, which will be affected by factors such as age, level of fitness, if we are unwell or recovering from illness and  if we are injured or recovering from injury. Our starting place is also affected by mental and emotional factors. For example if we are:

·              tired

·              anxious

·              excited or agitated

To find our starting point today:

·              wait, relax and spend time going ‘inwards’

·              listen to our inner voice

·              listen to our breath.

 Developing self awareness in our Yoga practice

YOGA SŪTRA Chapter II verse 46

STHIRA SUKHAM ĀSANAM I

Translation: ‘Āsana needs to combine qualities of steady attentiveness (sthira) and spacious clarity (sukha)’.

 

Sthira translates into English as ‘firmness’ and sukha is often translated as ‘ease’ or 'comfort'. Its opposite is ‘dukha’ – life’s suffering - or discomfort.

 

A posture should have the qualities of both sthira and sukha, which means in practical terms that a person should feel at ease in the posture whilst maintaining a firmness of position. And we should be able to breathe freely and deeply while we’re in it. Yoga scholar George Feuerstein says that sukha also means joy. So our Yoga practice should feel both firm and comfortable and we should be enjoying it!

 


Useful links to find out more about Yoga:

Centre for Yoga Studies, with Paul Harvey: http://www.yogastudies.org

Sadhana Mala, Taunton and Malvern: http://www.sadhanamala.com

Association of Yoga Studies: http://ays.org.uk