Yoga means Union in sanskrit. The goal of Yoga is the unity of the being away from physical and mental distress in good harmony of consciousness and perceptions.
Yoga is a complete system for personal development which drives improvements at physical, psychological and mental levels. Ultimatly Yoga restores total being to stability and peace, freeing mind from stress, distress and confusion. This sense of calm comes with the practice of postures and breat tress and negative feelings. Yoga is a source of stability, well-being, contentment, optimism.
Since thousands of years Yoga is a powerful means for self realization. This thousands years old yoga proves to be nowdays a powerful and popular mean for self healing and personal development. Yoga is a place of shelter and a soothing balm for the stress of modern life. It is a scenic journey to our deepest spirit.
Yoga is now recognized in western countries by more and more individuals and more recently by some companies and sport groups. Modern Yoga approach is non-mystical, rationale and secular. It confronts traditions and myths with modern anatomy and scientific knowledge.
Hatha Yoga is the yoga of energies: it put emphasis on physical and breath exercises. Ashtânga yoga is justone of the many modern forms of Hatha Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga is more dynamic and intense than traditionnal Hatha Yoga. It was intrdoduced in 1942 by Sri K. Pattabhi Joïs in Mysore in the South of India.
What will you improve with Yoga practice?
• Breath efficiency
• Strength (body and mind)
• Flexibility (body and mind)
• Personal energy for actions, for self control and for getting calm
• Get rid of thoughts and action automatisms
• Well being, health
· Breath exercises (pranayama),
· Postures (asana)
· Gestures (mudrâ),
· Contractions (bandha),
· Gaze (place you look at) (dhristi)
· Inner listening (prathyahara),
· Concentration (dharana),
· Meditation (dhyana),
· Sounds (mantra),
· Personal potential energy awakening (kundalini)
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga specific technics
· Oujjaï breath : stretching the breath with slight constriction of the glottis and listening to the sound of your own breath
· Postures (asana) from Ashtanga Yoga first series
· Dynamic transitions / movements between postures (vinyasa)
· Breath and movements synch with constant focus on the breath
· Three contractions/ bondings : mulabanda root lock (pelvic floor perineum pubbo coccygeal muscle contraction), udiyana banda (upper transverse abdominis muscle contraction) et jalandara banda (throat contraction by pulling the chin inside the upper part of the chest)
· Gaze - the place you look at - (dhristi) : nose, center of the forehead (3rd eye), navel, hand, toes, side , thumb, upward
. Concentration (darana)
· Inner listening (prathyahara)
. meditation (dhyana)
Methods and principles of Yoga to be applied during practice
· Nonviolence (ahimsa) : counteracting any urge to harm, hurdle, hurt, act viciously (including yourself) : for example avoid to force and hurt yourself in a posture
· Thruthfulness (satya) : in thought and action : for example accept actual limitation in capability to master a posture
· Non-stealing (asteya) : refusal to have/master what we cannot get including what we are not ready for.
· Moderation (brahmacharya) self-control, mastering of urges
· Non-greed (aparigraha) : detachment versus thoughts, feelings, thinkings : learn to let them go
· Cleanliness (shaucha) refers to both body and mind : be clear with our ideas and actions
· Contentment, satisfaction (samtosha) is being happy with life, with what actually happens
· Energy and commitment (tapah)
· Willingness to learn (Svadhyaya) : sustained willingness to learn to know yourself and to learn how to act
· Letting go as life requires (Ishvara pranidhana). Acceptance of our limits at a given time for a given situation. Openness to life flow.