The session of Yoga in the West

Although Yoga has come from India, through various channels, it has been long in the West. Countries from different continents have been adopting and adapting to Yoga in different ways. But there are some elements that should always be present in the class or Yoga session. Writes Paul Rego.

Surya Namaskar

A individual that is premiered in the realization of this ancient discipline comes to the place of the practice manifesting a search particular. Many behind a merely physical training, others for emotional or mental health issues, some medical advice and others as a way for spiritual development or in search of some peace.

The Yoga covers all these aspects of it need human and more also.

In the mid-20th century, when Yoga was introduced in the West, that boosted this expansion and masters who were involved in the process came from India bringing with it philosophical and cultural knowledge that surrounds to the discipline. Swamis (teachers who are themselves own merit and acclaim) as Sivananda, Vishnudevananda, Vivekananda, personalities such as Sri Aurobindo or yogachayras (master teacher) as B. K. S. Iyengar, among many others, strove from the beginning by taking care of, transmit and inculcate the essential foundations of Yoga.

Those texts Vedic, sutras such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (considered father of the Yoga by its ancient and influential work written) and all the poetic and metaphorical source of Yoga were reported by first Eastern broadcasters in their transmission to Westerners. Those principles and those recommendations should be part of the atmosphere that should make the instructor, teacher, or master when sharing practice.

Parts of the session

In this case we make special emphasis on the practice of Hatha Yoga (Yoga of the body or force), since it is the most widespread in the West and which has taken the name of "Yoga" to dry. This type of practice is the more sought by the Western, as is more easy start by the body that by the mind or the spirit.

This familiarity and the culture of Western materialism is a risk take these aspects exacerbated in everyday life to the inside of the scope of practice. By this is very important, to the start of the session, establish a period of takes of consciousness of all that with what not is live outside.

  1. Taking of consciousness

This particular space from the start of the session should focus towards consciousness as to the activity of the mind, breath, careful of sensations travel, until the priority of the perception of the practitioner is present, "the here and now".

This first period of the session can be shorter or longer, depending on the Group and the intention of the instructor or guide. In certain styles of Hatha Yoga dynamic is used the movement to enter is in the "State of practice", but always is important take consciousness and enter in that State to the start, so the practice is deep and not a mere exercise physical.

2. Pranayama or breathing consciously

Breathing tends to be in the majority of cases, arriving at practice, heavily influenced by emotions, the intensity of the (mostly uncontrolled) thoughts, stress or anxiety. It is therefore essential that the session contains a section for the practice of Pranayama or "conscious breathing" exercises.

Depending on the total length of the session and the focus of each group, Pranayama offers a wide range of exercises that can be performed from one or several combined before the series of asanas or postures.

3. series of asanas or postures

After this introduction follows the part of asanas, in which is important take of little to the body to a State of activity to avoid injury. The famous "sun salutation" or Surya Namaskar (in its different variants) is an excellent classic to start the activity. But, without having to always practice this combination of exercises, you can take as an example and other greetings or develop a combination of positions that invite the body movement and activation energy.

The series of asanas or postures is it more widely known of the session of Yoga. What is important highlight here is the consciousness of the practice in all time, the attention that should give is you to the body, keep the contact with the breathing. For the above reasons, without all the asanas or postures will be mere physical, acrobatic or gymnastic exercises away from the first and last of the Yoga concept.

4. relaxation

Deep relaxation is essential in the last part of the session. Relaxing completely the physical body so that energy will reorganize in the best possible way, releasing all tension and relying on energy. In this context, the guided relaxation can bring us into a state similar to the meditation, or after completing an amount of work on the physical and energy structures of the body, you can continue the relaxation meditation-reaching, resulting that the most natural way of entering it.

Is in that moment of the practice in that the influence of it physical and of the mind has decreased and the predisposition and receptivity to develop activities more subtle, referred to them aspects more spiritual is greater.

Depending on groups, the predisposition of practitioners and the paths that the Guide has undertaken to transmit Yoga, it's time for some inspirational text, chant of mantras, use of vibrating tools or simply invite the meditative silence the group.

The session of Yoga in the West must be linked to consciousness and all the roads that lead to it. Without all this, the activity does not should be called Yoga. This discipline is deep whenever you practice with all its elements. Of respect and awareness of teachers and the diffusers it depends on great media that will happen.

Paul Rego. Yoga teacher. Masajista-Terapeuta holistic. Diploma in medicine Ayurveda of India.

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By • 23 May, 2016 • section: Signatures