Sattva Yoga is one of the most extensive approaches to yoga today. Rooted in ancient Vedic and Tantric Traditions of the Himalayas, it was created after years of dedication and research by the renowned spiritual teacher and my guru, Anand Mehrotra.
Sattva Yoga exceeds far beyond the mat. It goes beyond an exercise to do to lose weight, get fit, or be healthy. Yoga is not about being skinny, doing difficult poses or following an internet trend. It’s about you, how you feel and how the practice makes you feel.
Sattva Yoga is an integrative practice, meaning it combines the physical movements of Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Kriya (evolutionary actions) and Pranayama (breathwork) with Meditation, Naad practices (the use of sound as a tool for transformation and healing, through mantra, music and chanting) and radical, transformative wisdom.
Each unique practice is designed to achieve a balance of movement, breath, energy and wisdom within ourselves. By applying all practices in Sattva Yoga, a clear path is created for us as individuals to experience full, abundant and joyous lives, and a sense of wholeness, without anybody else having an opinion about it.
Hatha Asana refers to body positions, or postures, associated with the practice of yoga. This includes static and dynamic (still & moving) postures, as well as vinyasa flows (using breath to move from one posture to another).
Hatha Yoga unifies the systems in the body and allows us to balance each part on its own and as a whole. Each Asana is designed to focus on making muscles strong as well as allowing them to relax and be able to support the body effortlessly.
It is very important to state that there is no ‘advanced’ in Sattva Yoga. Although we need to be conscious of our alignment during Asana practice, each posture and flow can be modified to support the individual need of the practitioner.
Kundalini Kriya – Breathwork
Within each of us there exists an infinite potential of energy, stored in the base of our spine. This is Kundalini. As your Kundalini energy is awakened, it is channeled up the spine, through the chakras and towards the crown. This rising of energy guides you to release anything that does not serve you. You begin to access the intelligent energy of the universe, and live a liberated, evolved life, full of happiness, self-acceptance and joy.
Kriya are actions that awaken our Kundalini energy, tools that are designed to prepare our minds and bodies for the powerful, transformative experiences that one can encounter. Each kriya has a unique purpose, and individually focus on certain attitudes or bhava, including fierce, receptive, meditative and balancing.
Descending from the Himalayas, Kriyas are traditional teachings that are so sacred, they were passed from Guru to disciple orally, and are not found in written form.
I am honored to be able to teach these special techniques to you, and my wish is that you will be able to experience them to the deepest level during each practice.
Pranayama – Breathwork
In the yogic tradition, the doorway to our life force energy, our prana, is through the breath. Everything in the universe, known and unknown, is connected through energy. Here yama means ‘tuning’, so by practicing pranayama techniques, we are fine-tuning the fundamental source of who we are through the breath.
Controlling our breath allows us to begin to correct our perception of what our ‘Self’ really is, and we really start to experience awareness beyond our mind and the thoughts that constantly steal our attention.
Working with the breath is just the beginning of pranayama. The more we breathe consciously, the greater we benefit on a physical, mental and spiritual level. Not only does this practice greatly reduce stress, anxiety and negative energy and other issues concerning mental health, it is extremely beneficial for many parts of the physical body, particularly the respiratory system and the brain.
Without breath, there is no yoga.
In today’s world, it’s often a struggle to experience a true moment of stillness. There are so many ways meditation can be accessed, it can be overwhelming.
Meditation, quite simply, is the creation of deep silence in a still manner. The supreme state of ‘not doing’. By practicing meditation, we are training the mind to find silence.
Sattva Meditation consists of Breathwork, Kriya and Mantra. When practiced daily, it can benefit your energy levels, sleep and internal organs, as well as help you with the daily challenges we all face.
It is important to know that thoughts are not banned in meditation! If a thought arises, it’s ok to just be aware of it and let it pass by. As you consistently practice, there will be longer periods of time without thought.
Meditation is the foundation practice, supporting and enhancing all the other yogic practices. Without it, you will not receive the full desired effect of the practice.
Everything in the cosmos exists and vibrates at certain frequencies, from the rocks in the ground, to the colours we see every day. These vibrations are known as Naad, the ‘essence of all sound’.
By tuning into the vibrational sounds of the universe we can change our energy, effecting how we feel physically and mentally. We already experience this when we listen to music, or perhaps stop and listen to the sounds of nature.
Naad practices help us in understanding and using sound as a tool for transformation and healing.
Sattva Yoga utilises these tools in all parts of the practice, including the mantras we chant, and the music we create or listen to.
The wisdom of yogic traditions might be ancient, but it is always relevant.
Yoga exists outside of religion, cultures and nationalities. It is holistic. Everything is taught as a whole. Without one element, it is not yoga. Through a life of yoga, we learn as we practice and there is only ever an opportunity to learn.
In Sattva Yoga, wisdom is taught, learnt and shared among the yoga community and often in Satsangs. A Satsang is a gathering where the community come together and discuss wisdom related to the teachings. It is a safe supportive space to share opinions and open up to others.
If you would like to read more on Yog-Vedantic Wisdom, I recommend the following:
- The Yoga Sutras – Patañjali
- The Bhagavad Gita
- This is That – Anand Mehrotra