The 411 on Yoga J-K
Looking at the Styles of Yoga & Understanding that ALL paths lead to h(OM)e!
Last month we began exploring several popular yoga styles. We discovered that nearly all styles of yoga have their roots in hatha yoga –a physical discipline that focuses on developing control of the body through asanas or poses.
In Sanskrit, ha represents sun and tha represents moon. Hatha represents the duality in life — yin and yang, masculine and feminine, darkness and light. It leads the way to balancing these opposing forces. It is the yoga of physical, mental & spiritual well-being. Those who practice the ancient knowledge have the ability to connect with all aspects of the “human” form to create balance & inner peace.
Jivamukti YogaThe Jivamukti Yoga method is a Style of Yoga created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984. It is a vigorously physical and intellectually stimulating practice leading to spiritual awareness. They promote the educational aspect of the practice and give students access to where these ideas came from. Each class focuses on a theme, which is supported by Sanskrit Chanting, readings, references to scriptural texts, music (from the Beatles to Moby), spoken word, Asana sequencing and Yogic Breathing practices. The average Jivamukti student is more educated about the philosophy of Yoga than most Yoga teachers. www.jivamuktiyoga.com
Kripalu The name Kripalu is associated both with a style of hatha yoga and a yoga and wellness center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Both were founded by yoga guru Amrit Desai, who came to the United States from India in 1960. Kripalu was named for Desai's teacher, Sri Kripalvananda, a Kundalini yoga master.<a href="http://www.kripalu.org/" rel="nofollow">www.kripalu.org/</a>;
KrishnamacharyaKrishnamacharya (1888-1989) was an Indian yogi and scholar. He received his training in hatha yoga during seven years spent with his guru, Ramamohana Brahmacharya, who lived in a cave in a remote region of the Himalayas. Krishnamacharya also spent many years studying, and then teaching, Sanskrit, Vedic rituals and philosophy. His style of yoga is the first known to have incorporated movement through a series of poses that are coordinated with breathing, a style that is known as vinyasa yoga.<a href="http://www.khyf.net/" rel="nofollow">www.khyf.net/</a>;
KundaliniKundalini Yoga was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan in 1969. It focuses on the controlled release of the Kundalini (serpent power) energy which is found at the base of your spine. The practice of Kundalini Yoga involves classic poses, chanting, coordination of breath and movement and Meditation. The emphasis however, is not on the Yoga Poses but on the Chanting and Breathing. Kundalini Yoga rewards Yogis with spiritual transformation and unity consciousness. <a href="http://www.kundaliniyoga.org/" rel="nofollow">www.kundaliniyoga.org/</a>;
Tantra Kundalini<a href="http://www.chandidevi.com/" rel="nofollow">www.chandidevi.com/</a>According to the philosophy of Tantra, the entire universe is a manifestation of pure consciousness. In manifesting the universe, this pure consciousness seems to become divided into two poles or aspects, neither of which can exist without the other.
One aspect, Shiva, is masculine, retains a static quality and remains identified with unmanifested consciousness. Shiva has the power to be but not the power to become or change. The other aspect, Shakti, is feminine, dynamic, energetic and creative. Shakti is the Great Mother of the universe, for it is from her that all form is born.
According to Tantra, the human being is a miniature universe. All that is found in the cosmos can be found within each individual, and the same principles that apply to the universe apply in the case of the individual being.
In human beings, Shakti, the feminine aspect is called Kundalini. This potential energy is said to rest at the base of the spinal cord. The object of the Tantric practice of Kundalini-yoga is to awaken this cosmic energy and make it ascend through the psychic centres, the chakras, that lie along the axis of the spine as consciousness potentials. She will then unite above the crown of the head with Shiva the pure consciousness. This union is the aim of Kundalini-yoga: a resolution of duality into unity again, a fusion with the Absolute. By this union the adept attains liberation while living which is considered in Indian life to be the highest experience: an union of the individual with the universe.
In Tantrism the state of ultimate bliss is a transcendence of dualities male-female, energy-consciousness, Shiva-Shakti