The Dancing Shiva yoga teachings embrace a dynamic integration of various branches of yoga both tradtional and modern. Based on the Yogananda lineage we take the largest influence from the classical Raja-Hatha-Tantra-Bhakti branches of yoga. The foundation for our yoga classes is that asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), mantras (devotional-chanting) are all important preparations for meditation. We give you a great physical experience that leads into a spiritual one. The five main steps are described below. The classes/practices also combine creative vinyasa (fluid sequences) and the importance of heating the body to sweat out toxins through the skin. Additionally, sweating is a very important component of Ayurveda's Pancha Karma detoxification system, of which we offer on an individual basis. All practitioners can benefit from such an all inclusive approach becasue it adheres to natures wisdom. We teach that what is good for one may not be so good for another and when we combine yoga's spiritual intention with ayurveda's natural wisdom you have a perfect balance of mind, body and spirit.
ASANA’S (Postures) - the approach to asana is that a practice should contain all the main types of asana necessary for relaxing and preparing the body. They include balancing, seated, expansive and contractive. Postures are blended by sequential movement and breath (vinyasa) or in a more traditional approach. The emphasis is on the degree and exertion perdoshic type.
PRANAYAMA (Breathing exercises) - several forms of breathing are used to cleanse the nadis (nerve channel systems) both mental and physical. Pranayama is also used as a tool for quieting the mind which is a pre-requisite to proper meditation. The emphasis is in learning to control and direct prana, the life force. The awakening and upward motion of this force via the central spinal channel (sushumna) brings about our higher faculties of wisdom, peace & compassion.
PRATYAHARA (Relaxation techniques) – When the mind is harmonious we are better able to achieve mastery over the senses that bind us to the outer world.
DHARANA (Concentration techniques) - emphasizes control of the mind to direct our will power to a particular task. Focus techniques involves developing and extending our power of right attention. By directing our attention on certain objects or ideas we improve our ability to be present in the moment. "The practice of dharana increases our level of presence and peace, by enabling us to forget about the past and not think about the future, but be right here, right now!
Both Yoga & Ayurveda culminate in the practice of meditation. Every class ends in a deep moment of stillness and expands our awareness beyond the ego into the realm of spirit. Meditation is the ultimate Yoga practice that brings man into accord with his true nature.
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