The sadhana, or exercise of discipline, is the basis of the spiritual path that is constantly followed by those who seeks true reality.
It is the most effective instrument to face oneself, to examine oneself life and way to act trough the bright crystal of the observances and of the ethics of the yoga.
The real sadhana (practice), is not certainly the simple and methodical repetition of the techniques learned, but is the continuous application of the yoga principles, is the ability to be able to grasp, in every context and situation, the precious lessons that life offers us.
Here below, are named some disciplines that are taught during the year, in our Ashram.
Hata Yoga: Asana, body postural positions. They are performed following a logic and coherent sequence according by physical principles (body circulation) and energetic principles (loma-viloma) of the person.
Through the practice of the asana it is possible to develop agility, muscle tone, balance, strength, flexibility and ability to relax the body. They restore energy and vitality to the entire physical and nervous system, developing a deep awareness of the body.
Pranayama: control of the vital breaths, conscious control of the breath; proceeding, initially with techniques that help to understand and decondition the breath movement, and gradually through the various breathing practices, to assimilate the awareness of what is the Prana, practicing and using increasingly, techniques more subtle and profound. The aim of pranayama is to harmonize, to balance the energetic flow of the nadi (energetic channels), bringing benefit on the physical-mental level.
Laya Yoga: the word Laya means “fusion, absorption, dissolution”. It is a set of methods and practices to absorb all those energies and forces that normally are dissipated during everyday life. With the practice of meditation, those energies are channelled, leading to the inner awakening. The laya yoga includes meditations techniques that bring the pranic energy to move in certain direction, awakening the main energy, kundalini. This requires a preliminary preparation through the practice of asana, pranayama, mantra and a conscious effort to direct the awakened energies along the column, so that they base in the sahasrara chakra. This will bring to the elimination of the mental fluctuations that is the final step of the yoga, mentioned in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Mantra: the sound produces light, the sound produces colour, the sound produces shape, the sound is the cause of the entire manifestation. The term Mantra takes the meaning from “MAN” (mind) “TRA” (instrument), instrument for the mind or what protects, or is useful for the mind. The mantra increases the power of the mental concentration. Through the practice of the mantra is possible to modify the cerebral frequency of the brain developing the beneficial frequencies to meditation.
Yantra: is a Sanskrit word that indicates the various types of geometric representations, from the simplest to the most complex form, and the symbolic diagrams that are used as support in concentration or to encourage meditative absorption (Samadhi). Actually the term originally means “vehicle” “instrument/object” that leads to an experience or to a mystic achievement and it is often used to support meditation. Generally, each deity has his own yantra. The yantra is a tool, is a concentration of power, is a way to limit the infinite within a geometrical diagram. It limits the unlimited giving it a shape through intersected ligaments, channelling the divine essence in a recognizable form. Through its meditation is possible to tap into stages of deep awareness.
Bhajan (sacred song): the music is God’s language. Shiva plays the Damaru, krisna plays the Flute and Saraswati plays the Vina; also the celestial Narada is always accompanied with an instrument called Ekadara. The Sanskrit term, bhajan, whose root “bhaj” (to take part, to share) is strictly related to the term “bhakti” “devotion”, and “bhagavan” “Divine Essence”. The devotional singing is a tool of the spiritual discipline able to connect mind and heart; this explains the reason why the bhajan are deeply rooted in the Indian tradition. The bhajans are songs sometimes simple, other extremely complex (the oriental system rhythmic-melodic is extremely more articulated than western one), however they are expressed in a language full of devotion (bhakti), love and abandon to the Divine.
Philosophy: all the disciplines that belong to the Indian culture are based on a philosophical vision, through the spiritual traditions and the sacred scriptures. This Divine spiritual knowledge (sanatana dharma) originally was revealed (srhuti) to the Rishis (sages), who had the merit to be able to “listen” and then to transmit it (smriti), during the course of time, for the evolution and the welfare of human beings. In our ashram are taught, by reading and commenting, the texts and the most important philosophical systems, of this rich spiritual knowledge.
Yoga in pregnancy: there are lots of reasons why a person decides to follow the yoga path, and one of them is the pregnancy. Yoga in pregnancy can be a unique experience, a period happy and full of joy. Devoting oneself to the yoga practices, adapted to the prenatal period, it is possible to have a new dimension of this period of life that can be stressful for many women.
Yoga can be started at the third month of pregnancy from those who have never practiced yoga, and also before by those who have already experience in yoga. In fact, for the yogini (expert in yoga) the pregnancy is an experience, I would say divine, where the woman can identify herself with the Mother or Shakti (feminine principle) and experiment a strong energy and a deep union with herself and her child. Yoga is a path of knowledge and experimentation through the positions (asana), the breathing techniques (pranayama), the relaxation, the mental control (Dharana), the mantra etc. that helps women to be prepared for the moment of birth and live it in the most natural way, with “presence” and relaxation. Yoga is “union” between body, mind and spirit. It means to live with “Self-Awareness”, and if this is essential for every human being, is even more essential for the woman who chooses to become Mother, welcoming a small being that grows in her womb. This is why is important to live this period in serenity, feeding herself in the right way, surrounding herself with positive experiences (since the mother transfers all her feelings to the child), preparing her body to the obvious physical changes and more..
The woman should give some time to herself that helps her to have and live with more energy, strength, agility , the pregnancy. Certainly the most appropriate instrument is the Yoga.