CLASSICAL YOGA IN MODERN WAY
In the second century Patanjali, known as the “father of Yoga” composed Yoga-Sutra with clear definition on classical Yoga. This Sanskrit text is composed just under 195 aphoristic statements (Sutras). Patanjali has described ‘Ashtanga Yoga’ eight fold path or steps of Yoga. The eight steps are Yama (restraint), Nyama (purity observance), Asana (physical exercise), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (preparation for meditation), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption in the sublime). These steps are in perfect order, as they are, were formulated on the basis of psychological understanding of the human mind. Yoga, thus, is a lifestyle, step-wise and stage-wise, through the eightfold path to final liberation from pain and suffering.
Yama: Yama are often known as abstentions, or restrictions. In this, the yamas specifically outline what not to do, but by doing so guide us toward the development of higher virtues. The five yama are Ahimsa (non-hurting or peacefulness), Satya (honesty), Asteya (non-taking), Brahmacharya (chastity, protection of vitality), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
Nyama: Niyamas are the second step of Yoga and are intended for those all the more genuinely looking for the way of yoga. These observances help to develop a more profound individual practice and learning of the Self. Divided into five sections, the Niyama are Saucha (tidiness of body, brain and lead), Santosha (fulfillment), Tapas (exertion or grimness), Svādhyāya (otherworldly examination), and Ishvarapranidhana (surrender).
Asana: Asana are mere postures that prepare the yogic seeker for the higher practices. In traditional writings, asana is truly characterized as steadily and comfortably “seat”. Along these lines the motivation behind an asana practice in the bigger setting of the eight folds is essentially to prepare the body to be able to sit comfortably for meditation.
Pranayama: Pranayama is control of the subtle energy in the body through guideline of the breath. In Patanjali’s yoga framework the guideline of the breath and prana (energy) is the connection between working with the body and working with the mind. The main purpose behind pranayama is to join diverse energies in the body, that when joined brings great clarity and calm to our whole being. The distinctive breathing practices offer an tremendous range of tools to help you in your life and fill in as a readiness for different parts of your yoga practice.
Pratyahara: Pratyahara is the process of yoga where the focus shifts from the outer physical practices, to the subtler inner ones. Usually considered as a bridge the two, as the rest of the folds of yoga after pratyahara are focused on the internal proficiency. The thought here is to start exploring the inner terrain in ourselves as a as a way to reveal the base of our unhappiness and suffering.
Dharana: Dharana is the first internal phase of the eight folds. It is the process of holding or fixing the attention of mind onto one object or place. This exercises build the concentration muscle in us, so that we gradually can bring our attention to rest on any given point, no matter what else is happening in our lives. Also, increases our ability to be where we are, instead of constantly being scattered in a million thoughts at once.
Dhyana: Meditation is sustained concentration, whereby the attention continues to hold or repeat on the same object or place. Meditation is an approach to see into the most profound pieces of ourselves and comprehend the idea of who and what we truly are. Meditation allows us to explore these realms through our own direct experience and understanding.
Samadhi: The line among dhyana and samadhi is an incredibly subtle one. Samadhi is the deep absorption, wherein only the essence of that object, place, or point shines forth in the mind, as if the mind were devoid even of its own form. In these states, one can go so profoundly into meditation and concentration a certain kind of freedom arises from the usual distractions of the mind. In exemplary yogic writings, there are a wide range of different levels of samadhi described in great detail, which the majority of great saints and teachers claim they will never attain.
With the entry of Yogi Shri Yogendra Ji in yoga, (disciple of Paramhans Madhavdas Ji) came the modern yoga in its existence. It was Guru Yogendra Ji’s deep research on common household person and his instigation to bring yoga for people like them, who needed it the most. It was in his guidance with which came modern yoga to all of us or to a common man.
Modern Yoga, is form of Yoga that is derived from its traditional form along with modern studies. Our Yoga Training is combined with the studies of Naturopathy, Ayurveda, 5 Element Theory. It is a natural process which lets you experience and achieve what you truly require and helps one replace negative energy with positive ones. It guides one to meet and heal their inner self and rejuvenates.
This process progressively takes one to the highest state of creativity, of discriminative knowledge and towards attaining the desired perfection. There lies its great purpose and usefulness.
His Holiness Paramhamsa Madhavadasji was born in 1798 to a Mukhopadhyaya family in Bengal. His environment and his parental influences inspired in him a devotional attitude and faith. A lawyer in the courts during the British Raj, he left his home at the tender age of 23 in search of higher pursuits. His early association with Bhakti rituals could not satisfy the reformist concepts he was looking for. He learnt from different traditions and after traveling in Assam, Tibet, the Himalayas, etc., he was able to get a first-hand knowledge of technical yoga.
In 1916, at the age of 118, Paramhamsa Madhavadasji was in Mumbai at Madhavbaug for a discourse where he met Yogendraji (then known as Mani). A strong bond developed between the teacher and student, and he personally guided and trained Mani on the path of yoga.
SHRI YOGENDRAJI: Founder of The Yoga Institute, Santacruz, Mumbai
Shri Yogendraji was born as Mani Haribhai Desai in 1897 in Gujarat. Through a chance meeting, he found his Guru, Shri Paramhamsa Madhavadasji, and learnt all about yoga from him. With the blessings of his Guru, Yogendraji went on to spread what was then considered the secret knowledge of yoga among the masses, as he believed it could improve the lives of householders.
He founded The Yoga Institute at ‘The Sands’, the residence of Dadabhai Naoroji in Versova, in 1918. At The Sands, he used therapeutic yoga to cure various ailments. Later, he traveled to America and founded a Yoga Institute in Harriman, New York, in 1920. A lot of research work, along with doctors and scientists of repute, was carried out under his guidance on the subtle physiological and psychological effects of yoga.
Shri Yogendraji then returned to India and, following the wishes of his father, married and remained a `householder yogi’. He has written many authoritative texts on yoga based on ancient scriptures. Some of his books are preserved in the Crypt of Civilization for posterity; they are to be opened after 6000 years. Along with his wife, Sitadevi Yogendra, he continued to teach and spread awareness of authentic classical yoga at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz, until his death in 1989.
JAYADEVA YOGENDRA (PRESIDENT OF THE YOGA INSTITUTE)
Born in 1929, Shri Yogendraji’s son, Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra, was a simple man and a true Yogi. Having seen his complete dedication to a life of discipline and simplicity, the sadhakas of the Institute considered him as their true Guru. Born in a family of Yogis, he was spiritually inclined since childhood. Until February 2018, when he passed away, as President of The Yoga Institute, he carried on the Founder’s legacy in his silent and sincere way. He was also the Editor of the Institute’s monthly Journal, “Yoga & Total Health,” published since 1933. Dr. Jayadeva completed his Masters in Samkhya and Yoga at the Bombay University in 1952. In 1955, he was awarded the Hargobindas scholarship for a Ph.D (Dr. of Philosophy) for his thesis on `Moksha Parvan’. At the Institute, he introduced several courses, and did pioneering work in Yoga Education and Therapeutics. Students at the Institute still continue to draw inspiration from his wisdom, compassion, wit, and unflinching commitment to truth.
Founder Director of YogaLife Global, Pundit Radheshyam Mishra joined this institute in November 1993, as a student of Yoga Teacher Training. He then served in the institute as a faculty till 1995.
SMT. HANSAJI JAYADEVA YOGENDRA (DIRECTOR OF THE YOGA INSTITUTE)
A dynamic and charismatic personality, Smt. Hansaji, wife of Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and present Director of The Yoga Institute, has dedicated her life to the running of the Institute and to teaching yoga as a way of life in a completely practical way. She is perhaps best known throughout the nation due to her involvement in the popular television series ’Yoga for Better Living’, first aired in 1980.
She was recognized for her contribution to Women’s Health through the award presented by SPARC. She has conducted several seminars and lecture tours in India and in Europe, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Hong Kong and United States of America. She has also authored many Yoga books and articles. She was invited by the National Council for Education Research and Training along with Dr. Jayadeva to advise on formulating a Yoga education syllabus for schools nationwide.