WHAT MAKES SIVANANDA HATHA YOGA CLASSES DIFFERENT?
The Sivananda Hatha Yoga Class is a 90-minute class consisting of initial relaxation (savasan), pranayama (breathing), warm up (sun salutations), 12 basic postures and variations, and final deep relaxation. Also, between postures there are brief periods of relaxation. This is to allow the heartbeat to return to normal; lactic acid can be eliminated from the muscles, the prana (life force) can circulate freely, and the student can relax mentally. The student is ready to go on to the next posture when the breathing and heartbeat have returned to normal.
Under the guidance of an experienced instructor, students receive step-by-step instructions, and postures are introduced and demonstrated gradually. The 12 basic postures are done in a sequence to allow students to benefit physically, psychically, mentally and spiritually.
THE FIVE POINTS OF YOGA
The practice of yoga is much more than exercise. It is an integrated system of modalities that can be incorporated into one’s own lifestyle to provide the foundation for healthy living. Our aim is to promote the spiritual science, ancient teachings and solid practices of Yoga to address issues of modern society. The regular and consistent practice of yoga will transform the fear, anger and despair in us to power, joy, wholeness, and peace. This is divine living. Our teacher, Swami Vishnudevananda, synthesized the ancient wisdom of Yoga into these five basic principles:
PROPER EXERCISE (ASANAS)
Asanas are poses that lubricate the joints, muscles and other parts of the body by increasing circulation, strength and flexibility. The asanas are also exercises in concentration and meditation—the core energies of spiritual practice.
PROPER BREATHING (PRANAYAMA)
Breathing with awareness and concentration is a spiritual practice. Conscious breathing connects the body to the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. Through specific breathing techniques this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation and healing.
PROPER RELAXATION (SAVASANA)
Relaxation is a vital part of keeping the body and mind healthy. Yoga teaches three levels of relaxation—physical, mental and spiritual.
PROPER DIET (PLANT-BASED, COOKED AND RAW)
Eating with awareness. A yogi takes food that has the most positive effect on the body and mind and the least negative effect on the environment.
POSITIVE THINKING AND MEDITATION
Gain control over your mind through purification, steadiness and concentration. Relieve stress and replenish energy. Meditation is well known to improve concentration and to bring peace of mind and spiritual strength.