Yoga of the Heart

My mum's beach yoga class
My mum’s beach yoga class

If I tell other yogis that my Mum is a yoga teacher, most of them are keen to know what kind of yoga she is teaching. “A mixture of different types of yoga; Hatha, Raja and Dru Yoga among others, as well as her own ideas and creativity in regards to Yoga”, is what I often reply. My mum recently told me that her kind of approach to yoga can be called: Satyananda Yoga. Soon after that, I jumped behind my computer to do some research about Satyananda Yoga; honestly I had never heard of it before.

Satyananda yoga, widely regarded as ‘integral’ yoga, is developed by Sri Swami Satyananda Sarawati with the aim of spreading yoga from door to door. Satyananda yoga encompasses all the major branches of yoga, including Hatha, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana and Raja Yoga. The aim of this integral or holistic approach is to develop and balance all aspects of one’s being – body, mind, emotions and psyche – leading the practitioner towards a more harmonious state of being. Satyananda yoga is often referred to as the Yoga of the head, heart and hands. The head represents intellect, the heart represents compassion and the hands represent action. Yoga is achieved when these three aspects of self are balanced. Satyananda yoga is suitable for everyone; from beginners to advanced yogis and does not conflict with one’s social background or religious beliefs. It is an evolving yoga that is grounded in tradition, yet adaptable to the needs of today. In this way the teachings are universal, progressive and inspiring.

At the moment, I’m moving away from going to a lot of yoga classes as a student. Instead, I try to deepen my home practice and my ‘own’ yoga more. A fellow yogini told me the other day: “True yoga, is the yoga done in your own home. In this way you can be aware and focused on your own body, mind and spirit and their needs.” I still love my yoga classes, especially because of the social aspect to it. At the same time, I feel I can develop myself further by listening to my specific needs to still my mind. My wise mum advised me as well to practice yoga at home mainly and maybe go to a few classes a week. The difference between a yoga teacher and a yoga student is that the first one doesn’t need a teacher or yoga class to practice yoga. Slowly I start to embrace a more holistic approach to yoga. As an exercise lover, I am naturally drawn to the physical aspect of yoga. However, at times my body screams for some rest and soothing poses. Also, I can definitely incorporate some more yoga of the heart in my daily life, as my partner would say; Real Life Yoga. If you’re living in Australasia and keen to practice Satyananda Yoga, have a look at: Satyananda Yoga Australasia


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