So, you want to do yoga? First of all, know that all yoga is good. The question then becomes, what kind of yoga do you want to do and why? If you want to sweat and get a “really hard workout,” or push yourself to your physical limit, then Svaroopa® yoga is not the yoga for you. If, instead, you want to quiet your mind, relax your body, and have an experience that is beyond happiness–all with minimal effort, then Svaroopa® yoga is be the yoga for you!
Svaroopa® yoga is deceptively easy and amazingly powerful. If you think that you’re not flexible enough to do yoga, try Svaroopa® yoga. It will change your mind. In Svaroopa® yoga–with “svaroopa” (pronounced “svah-roo-pah”) translating loosely to “your own form,” the emphasis is on releasing core tensions to decompress your spine. It’s an awareness practice involving poses that will open you up physically, emotionally, and more. The poses are easy to do and yet super effective. That’s one of the wonders of Svaroopa® yoga. It requires very little effort but offers tremendous results. It all this sounds too good to be true, try an introductory yoga class with Tahira! Come discover the bliss of your own true Self.
(The number of students is limited to guarantee an optimal, expansive experience. This applies both to the introductory classes at Unity, as well as to the Continuing and Deeper classes offered at Star Moon Studio in Charlottesville, VA ) Please also consult http://www.StarMoonStudio.com
Svaroopa® yoga classes typically start with Shavasana, yoga’s relaxation pose, pictured below.
In this picture, the student is being given an adjustment to make her more comfortable in the pose. Shavasana is then followed by Ujjayi Pranayama, a special breathing practice that is sometimes called “Ocean Sounding Breath.” When doing this breathing practice, one’s breath sounds like waves lapping across a sandy beach. It’s a peaceful, healing practice.
After Shavasana and Ujjayi Pranayama, there will usually be a “marker pose” that is done both at the beginning of the class and towards the end of class. The purpose of the marker pose is to give the student the opportunity to compare her now very different experience of the pose and to savor the spinal release that’s occurred during class.
Svaroopa® yoga classes are meticulously sequenced and alignments are made so that students can maximize the spinal release potential of the poses. The release starts at the tailbone and moves up the spine.
Classes end as they begin, in Shavasana with a guided awareness. This final relaxation pose helps the student to integrate the changes that have taken place in the class and that will continue to unfold…
Enjoy some pictures of happy yoga students : )
(photos courtesy of Svaroopa® vidya ashram SVA)
Svaroopa® is not about getting better at the poses. Rather, it is about experiencing the bliss of your own Self. In the words of Swami Nirmalananda, Svaroopa® yoga’s founder: “The purpose of Svaroopa® yoga is: cultivating our innate yearning for transcendence, creating personal experiences of the inner truth, discovering this as a continuing experience in our lives, applying this in the development of conscious community, and offering our service to support and uplift humanity.”
Swami Nirmalananda goes on to give the following interpretation of Yoga Sutra 1:14: “Patanjali describes three qualities of a committed yoga practitioner: doing it consistently, continuing over the long haul, and doing it because you love it.” Swami Nirmalananda then asks, “Why do you do yoga?”
Here’s my own answer: Truthfully, I cannot imagine a day without my yoga practice. Even when I’ve had a good practice, the thought crosses my mind that I could do more…
“Do more yoga.” This is Swami Nirmalananda’s constant advice for those of us in the Svaroopa® yoga tradition. I feel that I have deeply imbibed this teaching.
Why do I do yoga? I do yoga because I love it; I love it because it nourishes me on all levels of my being: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
On the physical level, yoga grounds me. It also regulates my temperature so that I no longer have perpetually cold feet and hands. It also helps me to feel more comfortable in my body. This is a tremendous blessing!
On the emotional level, yoga stabilizes me. I’m no longer on the roller coaster of feelings and reactions, on which I was once seemingly trapped.
On the mental level, it quiets my mind and clarifies my thinking. At least now I am aware when my thoughts seem to multiply and scatter or repeat themselves annoyingly and unproductively. Awareness truly is the first step.
On the spiritual level, yoga connects me–to my Self, my community(/ies), and to the Supreme Power of the Universe.
Why do YOU do yoga? If you don’t, why don’t you? Start now : )
SVAROOPA is a registered service mark of SVA used under license.