Integral Yoga

January 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Yoga Articles

Integral yoga follows the teachings of Sri Swami Sachidananda, who came to the United States from India in the 1960s and eventually founded many yoga institutes and the famed Yogaville Ashram in Buckingham, Virginia. Integral is a gentle, hatha practice, and classes often also include breathing exercises, chanting, kriyas, and meditation.

The Integral method, so called because it seeks to integrate the mind, body, and spirit, is intended to give students the tools they need to live peaceful, healthy, joyful, useful lives. Indeed, Satchidanada’s teachings go beyond the physical practice of yoga postures: He seeks to inspire students to find fulfillment in themselves and promote a peaceful existence with others.

Sachidananda is also the author of many books, including translations and interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, that make these arcane texts comprehensible to contemporary readers and applicable to modern life.

Integral Yoga Areas of Instruction

Hatha Yoga

The practice of yoga postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama), cleansing practices (kriyas) and deep relaxation to strengthen and purify the body.

Raja Yoga

Practice of meditation to balance and control the mind.

Bhakti Yoga

Devotion, manifested through constant love, to a God, the divine, or a spiritual teacher.

Karma Yoga

Selfless service, free from attachment to the idea of the results of these actions.

Jnana Yoga

The intellectual approach, by which a transcendence of the body and mind is achieved through study, self-analysis, and awareness.

Japa Yoga

Repetition of a mantra, a sound vibration with an aspect of the divine.

Is Integral for You?

Integral yoga appeals to those who want an approach that addresses their whole life, including the physical, spiritual, intellectual, and interpersonal relationships. Classes tend to be gentle, accessible, and particularly noncompetitive and the teachers are usually extremely knowledgeable.

Watch this video on hatha yoga featuring Swami Ramananda of the Integral Yoga Institute in New York City for more information on this type of yoga.

Sources:

Integral Yoga Institute of New York.

Sri Swami Satchidananda.

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