What is Yoga?
Yoga stems from an Indian art of freedom and wellness that has been practised for over two thousand years.
Yoga unites the body and mind with the spirit for a happy, healthy and fulfilled life. It is simple, yet life changing. Through the practices of yoga, you can break your negative patterns from the past and learn to live in the moment; to see the divine within and trust that the universe will provide, to enable you to experience the divinity in everything.
Various Paths of Yoga
Yoga provides paths for all individuals (who choose to practice it) to help them reach their full potential and be in harmony with the Spirit. The following are some main paths of yoga:
|Yug||(Root for Yoga). Yoke, union, harness.|
|Ashtanga Yoga||Eight limbs of Raja Yoga.|
|Bhakti Yoga||Unity through love, devotion and worship.|
|Hatha Yoga||Obstinancy, stubborn. The Yoga of mind-body control.
ha = sun; tha = moon, so the balancing of these two energies.
|Japa Yoga||Mantra and repetition, using mala, similar to rosary beads.|
|Jnana Yoga||Unity attained through knowledge of the self and wisdom.|
|Karma Yoga||Unity by right action.|
|Kundalini Yoga||Development of psychic forces, through arousing the primal shakti within the body.
Direction of its spiritual use is through the conscious mind.
|Laya Yoga||Concentration on the (hidden) chakras.|
|Mantra Yoga||Unity through sound.|
|Raja Yoga||The royal path, unity which is all-encompassing.|
|Tantric Yoga||Orgasmic fulfillment.|
|Yantra Yoga||The study of symbols.|
The world of yoga is like a forest filled with variety and colour, and a myriad of styles and approaches. Each species in a forest has its individual characteristics, enabling it to grow to its greatest potential. The various yogic systems are unique, yet all have the same purpose: enlightenment. Every tree in a forest has the same goal – to reach towards the light. One tree’s method is not better than another’s.
Hatha Yoga, the most commonly practiced yoga in the West, is primarily physical. It is the yoga for mind-body control. The word hatha is made up of two syllables ha and tha, meaning sun and moon. Through hatha yoga, the solar and lunar energies of the body are harmonised.
Raja Yoga is the Royal Path. Raja means royal. This is yoga for the mind and extraordinary states of consciousness. It was codified by Patanjali, a sage who lived in India around the first century A.D., into ashtanga, the eight limbs of yoga.
Shanti Yoga is not only a method for preparing the system for spiritual awakening but is also a very important and proven science for health. By deepening one’s understanding of the mechanics of the body and creating a balance between the body’s energy systems through postures and the breath, the practice of Shanti Yoga helps maintain constitutional strength and health. Awareness grows more subtle, leading to a fuller use of the mind-body. Using the breath for invigoration, learning ways to work with one’s individual limitations such as injuries, and developing a growing awareness of the subtle movements of energy and matter, are some of its applications.
- a recharge of energy
- stress release
- clarity of perception
- focusing the mind
- improved health
- inspiration and skills to continue with life’s journey.
The Shanti Yoga program is a holistic program for body, mind and spirit. Physically, Shanti Yoga presents a form of gentle, relaxing exercise, that strengthens the joints, muscles, tendons and bones, increases flexibility, stimulates the circulation of energy in the body, and enhances mental clarity. This provides the foundations for sitting meditation practice towards emotional wellbeing, peace of mind and enlightenment. Slow movements, mindful stretching, floor, sitting and standing postures, internal self-massage, yogic breath work together with meditation allow healthy individuals to maintain physical and mental well-being.