To answer the question on traditional authentic good yoga classes, we need to first try and understand what traditional authentic yoga is – and fearlessly go beyond its current definitions and limitations in an effort to touch and feel what Patanjali and other great yogis of the past might have meant.
Yoga is the ‘cessation of the turnings of thought’ – ‘Yoga Chittha Vritthi Nirodhaha’ – is really what Yoga is about. Patanjali’s immortal definition of yoga kicks off his Yoga Sutras, and is befittingly at the very start. Patanjali starts off with what I feel is the simplest, yet most deep meaning of yoga, and works his way through explaining it in detail in his work.
Traditional authentic schools must yearn to dedicate their teaching to include all aspects of yoga, including
Asana (including kriyas and bandhas)
At Samyama, I strive to ensure that students are guided in all of the above aspects of yoga and that the class spends adequate time training themselves physically and mentally.
Some of the modern representations of yoga, mostly catering to urban (not really western or eastern, but more urban) mindsets, tend to focus heavily on asanas in gymnastic style –in a desperate attempt to try and keep people healthy and fit. While that is commendable, I feel schools should try and touch other aspects of yoga too to enable students to appreciate and experience the depth of yoga.
Yoga is the cessation of the pulls of life while still living. It is the cessation of the mind and time while conscious. It is the disconnection of the breath with the turnings of the mind. Yoga is the ultimate realization that everything that seems real is going to end and everything that you feel is permanent is really only permanent in a relative scale and all positions you take in life are irrelevant in the larger scheme. Yoga is the realization that you are a simple small part of the universe among countless other living organisms and that your expression is just one among the many.
If you are truly serious about learning the ancient art of yoga, then you need to go to the place it originated. India is the birthplace of this search for permanent peace within oneself, so what better setting to study for that complete sense of well-being?
Samyama Academy of Yoga gives you the tools and training to reach this blissful state. We offer you a highly authentic learning experience. Our offerings include morning yoga workshops and yoga teacher training programs (100 hour YTT, 200 hour YTT) and meditation retreats.
Founder and mentor Gowrisha Hoskere studied intensely under some of the best known teachers in Bangalore and Rishikesh. Through rigorous practice of his specialized areas, lyengar and Hatha yoga, along with specialized knowledge in Mysore style Ashtanga, Gowrisha has been able to cure his asthma and heal a knee injury that caused him great pain. He wishes to share what he has learned with others, so they too may benefit from this highly scientific and powerful healing qualities of yoga.
As a master of yoga, he knows that one program does not benefit all people. Therefore, when a student enters the Samyama Academy of Yoga, they are asked about any existing health issues or physical challenges they may be dealing with in order to produce the best regimen for them. With dedication, anyone can overcome some of the most challenging issues in their lives.
We teach year round. Classes are taught every day for 1, 2, or 3 months. During this time you will learn to master a whole series of asana, by practicing proper alignment and discovering the physical, emotional and lifestyle benefits of yoga. By taking advantage of the special classes and retreats, one can make best use of several different aspects of the art, such as pranayama and meditation.
Samyama Academy of Yoga sits nestled in the traditional neighborhood of Basavanagudi in South Bangalore. Here we offer 2500 square feet/230 square meters of yoga space equipped with all the necessary props such as, blankets, belts, ropes, bolsters, and bricks. The Academy is outfitted with all the modern comforts. There is a quiet resting spot, private areas to change, shower room, fresh coffee, refrigerator, clean water, a microwave, a cooking stove and access to high speed Internet. Out of town students will find temporary housing and assistance finding top rate accommodations for those wishing to travel for our teacher training classes. We gladly offer these services because it is much easier for one to reach a state of inner peace if there is a sense of peace and calm all around them.
Dedicated practice of Yoga can give you the best experience of your life that will last for the rest of your life. At Samyama, we try our best to blend the best of the latest technology with the depth of yogic science in our efforts to impart a truly memorable experience.
Yoga is the cessation of the turnings of thought – “Yoga Chittha Vritthi Nirodhaha” – Patanjali’s immortal definition of Yoga. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra text focuses on bringing stillness to the mind and achieving Samyama or Perfect Discipline.
Though Yoga is currently popularly type-casted to ‘Asana’, nothing could be further from the truth than the current popular understanding. There are several schools in the world that primarily teach Asana and identify themselves as Yoga schools. While it is true that Asana practice has made Yoga a popular word across the world, Yoga itself is a much more intense and life-encompassing subject meant for dedicated study, practice and experience; in one word – Sādhana. There is no doubt that Asana is an important arm of the Body-Mind-Soul framework of Yoga. However, Yoga in the system of Patanjali starts with Asana and goes all the way to Samadhi through intense practice. Yoga is the cessation of the turnings of thought – “Yoga Chittha Vritthi Nirodhaha” – Patanjali’s immortal definition of Yoga. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra text focuses on bringing stillness to the mind and achieving Samyama or Perfect Discipline.
Though Yoga is currently popularly type-casted to ‘Asana’, nothing could be further from the truth than the current popular understanding. There are several schools in the world that primarily teach Asana and identify themselves as Yoga schools. While it is true that Asana practice has made Yoga a popular word across the world, Yoga itself is a much more intense and life-encompassing subject meant for dedicated study, practice and experience; in one word – Sādhana. There is no doubt that Asana is an important arm of the Body-Mind-Soul framework of Yoga. However, Yoga in the system of Patanjali starts with Asana and goes all the way to Samadhi through intense practice.
At Samyama Academy, I will try my best to share
Āsana – Intense advanced asana practice where you can feel every single organ and system in your body and adjust your health index through conscious practice
Prānāyāma – breathing techniques that help cleanse your physical, breath and emotional bodies
Pratyāhāra – sense withdrawal techniques that help you touch the tip of the iceberg of your mind’s capability to take seemingly challenging decisions and yet live through them peacefully
Dhārana – concentration techniques to explore your minds capability of solving problems and focusing on a single area of interest
Dhyāna – meditation (this is an involuntarily process that requires that right internal and external environment to auto kick-off)
Samādhi – Cessation of thought and achievement of stillness. There are several layers of Samādhi and have been detailed in the texts. Since I have not directly experienced this state, I will be sharing the text and translations of the same.
The entire system above is based on a meta framework of ethics (Yama) and discipline (Niyama).
Yama – Universal ethics. Yama outlines principles you could follow in your relationship with the world around you. They are:
Ahimsā – interact in a way as to cause no harm to any being through thought, word and deed. This is an extremely subtle concept and can be very intricate to follow. To even start, it is most important to consider all beings in our everyday life.
Sathya – state the truth as you know it and hold your truth, no matter the consequences of it. Only your truth, your nature, can bring you peace. Be as true to yourself as you can and represent the same to the outside world.
Astheya – do not steal any property that belongs to another being. Stealing from another being causes harm (Himsa) and could result in avoidable suffering.
Brahmacharya – follow the path of the ultimate truth. Turn your senses inward and neutralize response to external stimulus.
Aparigraha – avoid accumulation of possessions and property. Live with minimal necessary possessions.
Niyama – Personal discipline. Niyama outlines principles you can follow to create the optimal internal framework for a sustainable practice.
Shaucha – Maintain cleanliness of body, mind and personal space
Santhosha – Maintain a neutral to positive bias towards your own life and practice
Tapas – Sustain singe-mindedness, sometimes a stubbornness towards your object of focus, while being ready to undergo discomforts and sacrifices to achieve your goal
Swādhyāya – Dedicate time and space for self-study, contemplation and continue to learn through introspection and study
Ishwarapranidhāna – Offer the results of your life to nature (Ishwara or supreme consciousness can also be thought to that very nature that represents the world)
To become a yoga teacher has a simple clear process. If you want to teach the physical aspects of Yoga – asanas – then you need to practice poses intensely and spend a lot of time in the each of the asanas (poses), listen to your body, study your body, experiment with your body through the asanas and develop an understanding of your body. To do this, you need to practice (Abhyasa) asanas and go from being unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence.
There are any number of asanas in Yoga. There is really no right number though it is believed that Shiva taught 84 asanas to Parvathi. The best-known source for the list, description and guide of asanas is BKS’ book “Light on Yoga’. Asanas are important and help the body align itself well and allow your systems (integumentary, muscular, skeletal, lymphatic, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, digestive, reproductive, endocrinal) to work with better coordination. Asanas, moving your body in certain ways, is the first and an important step in establishing connect with your gross body.
Asanas means ‘poses’ and as long as you have a physical body (I mean, as long as you are able to read this), you will be in one asana or another. Yoga prescribes a certain alignment of the body to optimize its functioning. You can definitely do yoga without doing all the asanas. Even doing asanas itself can start being addictive and you can forget the real reason for yoga and start chasing
Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali
Samyama is defined as the combination of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. If you can experience devoted undiluted concentration and focus on an object, immerse yourself in the object, become one with the object, gain deep insight into the object itself and reach peace and bliss through this process, you have achieved a state of Samyama – or ‘Perfect Discipline’. Like almost everything in Yoga, there is little to write on this subject of Samyama and yet, realms can be written about it. Once you experience it once, you understand that words cannot even hope to express your understanding of the word. Samyama is Yoga. Yoga is Samyama. Patanjali places this at the top of the goals of Yoga (though this statement itself is a paradox – there indeed is no goal of Yoga).
Up until the last 50-75 years, there was only one form of Yoga and that dealt with physical postures and that was the ‘Hatha Yoga’. Tracing its origins to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika of the 15th century and earlier, Hatha Yoga formed the basis and practicing bodily postures, alignments, cleansing, locks and breathing and meditation techniques to reach a state of inner peace and calm.