What is Yoga
Yoga was first expounded by Lord Shiva who taught more than 8,40,000 asanas (postures). The first reference to Yoga appears in the Rig Veda. However it was the great saint Patanjali who first systematized it in his Yoga Sutras. Patanjali spoke of 8 Limbs of Yoga which include ethical disciplines (yama and niyama), physical postures and breathing (asana and pranayama) and meditative withdrawal and concentration (pratyahara, dharana and dhyana). These culminate in samadhi, the state of ultimate bliss.
Yoga is not a religion, but is a powerful technique for self-realization. It teaches us to live in the present, without worry, stress or anger. We make peace with ourselves, and from this inner harmony, comes peace in our relationships. This makes Yoga of immense relevance to our age. It is our hope at the Universal Yoga Centre that by studying this great science, you may find the true meaning of life, and go on to make the world a better place. May you be well and happy !
Power (Ashtanga Vinyasa) Yoga
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga has a pedigree in India for over 5000 years. It bridges the divide between Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga, and represents the practical unification of the 8 limbs of Yoga system of Patanjali. In Ashtanga, the individual postures (asanas) are linked together by a short, flowing sequence of movements called “Vinyasas” (literally, “setting out and returning”), which are further synchronized with the breath. There is a natural progression towards a meditative state as one harmonies postures (asana), breathing (pranayama) and awareness (samyama) into a symbolic whole. Each element deepens and enriches the effect of the other, until one reaches a stage where there is no separation between mind, body and breath.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is therefore one of the most complete systems of Yoga ever devised. The challenge offered by the Vinyasa system is as much mental as physical, demanding a continuous effort of concentration to maintain the momentum from one posture to the next. This does not mean that you must be super-fit to practice.
The aim of this technique is to naturally still the fluctuations of the mind through dynamic movements and breath, not to achieve gymnastic goals. To reach such a state of stillness and harmony through sitting meditation reuires a dedication and tenacity rarely available to people living this secular world. In this way, Vinyasa unites Hatha and Raja Yoga in a single, simple manner in which anyone can quickly realize spiritual progress.
Universal Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga focuses on deep relaxation and self-healing. The fruit of long years of study in various schools of Yoga, Universal Hatha Yoga utilities physical postures (asanas), breath-work (pranayama) and meditation techniques to liberate the vital energy of the body and mind.
Stress, depression, worry, an unhealthy environment and impure food can all contribute to the build up of pranic blocks which destroy our natural vitality and lead to illness. The system of Universal Hatha Yoga aims to remove these blockages by purifying the body and its internal organs through physical and spiritual techniques. Muscular tension is released and the entire nervous system is revitalized.
At the physical level, Universal Hatha Yoga calms the mind and prepares the practitioner for a deeper meditative experience. All traditions speak of the need to cleanse the mind and body before realization can occur. The Universal Hatha Yoga offers a safe and tested means to achieve this. Universal Hatha Yoga leaves one feeling balanced and energized, and takes one towards the psycho-spiritual and biological unity that we are. Heal yourself profoundly using your own mind and body.