Integral Yoga follows the traditional teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda who arrived in the United States from India during the 1960s. He eventually realized that this style of yoga was a way to help others reach peace and so he founded many Integral Yoga Institutes and the known Yogaville Ashram that is located in Buckingham, Virginia. Integral yoga is a combination of traditional ways that yoga teacher training is continuing to instruct. It is a gentle yoga that includes Hatha yoga practice, breathing exercises, kriyas, chanting and meditation.
This style of yoga teaching is called the Integral method because its purpose is to integrate the body, mind and spirit. It is designed to bring those that practice it the tools to live a peaceful, happy, healthy and useful life. Sri Swami Satchidananda has a style of yoga teaching that goes beyond the physical work of the yoga poses, he wants to help his yoga students find fulfillment within them and promote a calm existence with others.
The word Yoga refers to union or yoke in the Sanskrit language. It really is the ideal definition of the philosophy and science behind the style of Integral Yoga. Integral Yoga takes all the different yoga styles and brings it into one life style system of practice. Through yoga teacher training we learn that the aim of this style is to help promote a total harmonious balance in the person practicing.
There are six branches of Integral Yoga and each one brings a strong skill to help you gain self-mastery. When a yogi can combine all these branches within their practice the results can be from subtle to quite measurable. Below are simple descriptions of each of these six branches that make up Integral Yoga. These are taught through yoga certification and yoga teacher training.
Hatha Yoga– This style of yoga focuses on having a healthy body that is strong, flexible and free of stress and anxiety. The practice focuses on the physical movement through asanas (Postures), pranayama (Breath control), kriyas, mudras, diet and meditation. We view our body as the physical vehicle that helps us move through life.
Raja Yoga– This style of yoga focuses on gaining balance and control of your mind through an ethical practice, concentration and meditation. Being able to have a calm and focused mind allows you to witness the Divine without having a lot of outside distractions that normally clog up the mind.
Bhakti Yoga- This style of yoga focuses on finding self-mastery through a path of devotion. Bhakti Yoga can be practiced by any shape, size or ability and with constant love, thought and service of the Divine. As long as you have faith and a constant remembrance of God.
Karma Yoga– This style of yoga focuses on the thorough application of selfless service. Being able to serve without attachment to the results of the action will help remove the attachment and brings you to a realization of oneness.
Jnana Yoga- This style of yoga refers to a path of yoga called the intellectual approach. You learn how to recognize the Real and unreal and can only then realize Oneness with the entire Universe.
Japa Yoga- This is the yoga style that means repetition of a mantra which is a sound structure of one or more syllables that represents an aspect of the Divine Vibration. This was started with the Word, repeating a mantram, and while you practice Japa Yoga you can bring the source of creation and Divine Energy to the forefront of your mind. Being this in tuned means self realization has been achieved.
Is Integral Yoga for you?
The practice of Integral Yoga appeals to those that want a style of yoga that addresses their whole life. This means that they want their practice to umbrella physical, intellectual, spiritual and relationship connections. Integral yoga teaching is gentle, accessible, and a noncompetitive style and the yoga teachers are very educated in what they instruct. Yoga teacher training makes it possible to take different styles of yoga and build it around what it is you want to achieve from a regular practice.
Anamaya Resort may not offer this style of teaching or training for new teachers but it does offer practice in the other yoga styles that Integral Yoga has leaned on.