Sivananda Yoga Yoga is an excellent means of stretching, exercising and purifying the body so as to make it healthy and vibrant. The postures of yoga will help develop a strong and resilient physique, tone the nervous system, improve circulation, release stress and tension, and increase flexibility.
The deep breathing that accompanies the yoga postures also helps in detoxifying the physical body of all the waste products that contribute to illness and stress.
Sivananda yoga is a traditional Indian yoga practice which begins with breathing exercises (to strengthen the lungs and facilitate mental preparation for the physical practice to follow), a set of warm-up postures called The sun salutations (to physically prepare the body for the practice), and then the postures themselves.
The class closes with a guided relaxation that helps fully integrate the energy produced during the practice. The vital energy or prana that is produced doing yogic exercise can circulate fully around the body when we are properly relaxed. We can then take this feeling of well-being into our day to day lives.
Yoga is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Since yoga is a non-competitive practice the student is encouraged to develop at their own pace with the guidance of the teacher.
According to Swami Vishnu-Devananda disciple of Swami Sivananda there are five points to yoga:
- Proper exercise (Asanas)
- Proper breathing (Pranayama)
- Proper relaxation (Savasana)
- Proper diet (Vegetarian)
- Positive thinking and Meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana)
Proper exercise : Yoga is a life of self-discipline based on the tenets of ‘simple living and high thinking’. The body is a temple or vehicle for the soul, and has specific requirements which must be fulfilled for it to function smoothly and supply the optimum mileage. These requirements may be seen metaphorically in relationship to those of another vehicle. An automobile requires five things; a lubricating system; battery; a cooling system; fuel; and a responsible driver behind the wheel. Proper exercise: acts as a lubricating routine to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other parts of the body by increasing circulation and flexibility.
Proper breathing: It aids the body in connecting to its battery, the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. When tapped through specific yoga breathing techniques (Pranayama), this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation. Proper relaxation: cools down the system, as does the radiator of a car. When the body and mind are continually overworked, their efficiency diminishes. Relaxation is nature’s way of recharging the body.
Proper diet: provides the correct fuel for the body. Optimum utilisation of food, air, water, and sunlight is essential. Positive thinking and Meditation: puts you in control. The intellect is purified. The lower nature is brought under conscious control through steadiness and concentration of mind.
Sivananda yoga classes:
- Kapalabhati (shining skull)
- Anuloma Veloma (Alternate nostril breathing)
Soorya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
- Sirshasana (Headstand)
- Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)
- Halasana (Plough)
- Matsyasana (Fish)
- Paschimothanasana (Forward bend)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra)
- Salabhasana (Locust)
- Dhanurasana (Bow)
- Ardha matsyendrasana (Half spinal twist)
- Kakasana (Crow)
- Pada Hasthasana (Standing forward bend)
- Trikonasana (Triangle)
- Final relaxation
This class has been designed for full benefit of the students physically, psychically, mentally and spiritually. Variations and adaptations are added as the student develops but the basic 12 postures allow the student to gain the flexibility and strength needed to progress.