In the practice of classical yoga, all practitioners follow the 8-limbs of yoga. The 8-limbs of yoga, as set out in Pantajali's yoga sutras, are defind as yamas (abstinences), niyama (obervances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption). This 8 limbs form a sequence from the outer to inner.
In the modern yoga, there is a strong focus on one limb which is asana. In the classical yoga (especially in in the tradition of Sivananda), you will normally practise pranayama, asanas, relaxation and short meditation in a 90 - 120 mins class.
Swami Sivananda Saraswati
(8 September 1887 – 14 July 1963)
Yoga Retreat (in the tradition of Sivananda Yoga) in Chiang Mai organised by Ompulence.
What is Sivananda Yoga?
A brief history
Sri Swami Sivananda was a practicing doctor who was eager to do all he could to relieve human misery.
In his search to ease his patients' physical and mental discomfort, he decided to look within himself. He began his quest by becoming a swami or monk. After long years of secluded practice in the Himalayas, he attained mastery in yoga and meditation. Swami Sivananda went on to found the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh in the Himalayas.
"Yoga for Everyone"
For centuries, yoga was open only to people who were ready to search for a teacher in India. Traditionally it only appealed to those willing to forego the life of a "householder", renouncing the world and living in seclusion.
Swami Sivananda (1887-1963) and Swami Vishnudevananda (1927-1993) were among the first of the Indian yoga masters to make yoga accessible to everyone, no matter their background, age, status, and where in the world they lived. In doing so, they helped to bring yoga to the West.
Sivananda Yoga teaches a traditional, exact, and easy-to-learn system that aims at naturally achieving the goal through creating a healthy body and mind that leads to spiritual evolvement.
Based in the teachings of Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnudevananda summarized the yoga philosophy in five principles or the Five Points of Yoga which make the complex teachings of yoga easier to understand.
① Proper Exercise (Asanas) - Yoga poses help develop a strong, healthy body by enhancing flexibility and
② Proper Breathing (Pranayama) - Deep, conscious breathing reduces stress and many diseases.
③ Proper Relaxation - Helps keep the body from going into overload mode, easing worry and fatigue.
④ Proper Diet - Eating simple, healthy and vegetarian foods that are easy to digest notably have a positive
effect on the mind and body, as well as the environment and other living beings.
⑤ Positive Thinking (Vedanta) and Meditation (Dhyana) - These are the true keys to achieving peace of mind and eliminating negativity in our lives.
What you will experience in your regular Sivananda Yoga class?
You will normally begin with kapalabhati and anuloma viloma pranayama practice, followed by surya namaskar (sun salutation) practices to help you warm up your body. Thereafter, the instructor will guide you in the 12 basic postures of Sivananda yoga (note that modifications and variations of poses will be given according to the class level). Finally, students will lie down in corpse pose for about 10 - 15 mins to do the final relaxation. This is extremely beneficial as it helps to balance the nervous system. There are also relaxation pose in between each pose to prevent an accelerated build up of lactic acid and allow you to bring your attention back to your body and breath (being in the present moment). Strong focus on grounding your mind and body which can lower your stress and anxiety level.
" Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness or pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity. - Swami Sivananda
Suryan Namaskar (Sivananda Yoga)