Yoga offered by the Divine Grace Ashram
What we practice is Sivananda Yoga, a classical and holistic healing system, which stretches and tones the entire body. Sivananda Yoga helps both body and mind gain and maintain a natural healthy state. The practice emphasizes proper exercise, relaxation and breathing – each ninety-minute Asana practice begins with breath work and closes with a full body and mind relaxation.
Yoga, simply put, means union. Union of the individual with the supreme, or union of one's body, mind, and spirit so that our actions, our words, and our thoughts are in alignment. Yoga is not a religion but a spiritual practice that can be incorporated into one's daily life no matter what religion you follow, whether it is Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, or Atheist.
The teachings of Yoga go far beyond simply physical exercise or stretches. Even the Asana part of Yoga, which is not purely physical, has mental and spiritual benefits.
By closely observing the lifestyles and needs of people in our modern world, Swami Vishnudevananda synthesized the ancient wisdom of Yoga into 5 basic principles, which can easily be incorporated into your own pattern of living, to provide a long, healthy and happy life.
The five points of Yoga are:
Proper Exercise - Asanas
Proper Breathing - pranayama
Proper Relaxation - Savasana
Proper Diet - Vegetarian
Positive Thinking and Meditation - Vedanta and Dhyana
The Body is a vehicle for the soul, and has specific requirements, which must be fulfilled for it to function smoothly and supply the optimum mileage.
Proper Exercises act as a lubrication mechanism for the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and other parts of the body by increasing circulation and flexibility. Yogic exercises are in fact called asanas, or steady pose; when done correctly, influence and positively energize all the systems of the body. In terms of muscles, yogic exercises not only strengthen the muscles but also stretch them. There is a great emphasis on the flexibility and the youth of the spine. The correct postures are performed with awareness and concentration, accompanied by breathing and relaxation. Thus yogic exercises affect not only the physical body but also the astral body, the energetic body and the mind. The body and mind are put in alignment or in harmony. Yogic asanas prepare the body and mind to be strong for further practice of concentration and meditation.
Proper Breathing: Yoga emphasizes breathing using the diaphragm. Increase the intake of oxygen though deep inhalation and release the toxins appropriately through our deep exhalation. Breathing techniques (pranayama) are devised to further purify the nadis, balance the breath and the energy in our system, and to store and channel the subtle energy (prana) for higher purposes. Balance the regulation of the harmonized breath helps the Yogi to regulate and steady the mind.
Proper Relaxation techniques such as Savasana cool down the system. Our hectic modern and fast lifestyle brings about physical, mental and spiritual stress. Stress comes from our difficulty to adapt to new challenges, and our lack of vital energy (prana) to cope with demands. Physical relaxation removes tension and allow the flow of prana, mental relaxation keeps the mind focused on neutral and uplifting objects like the sound of the breath or the mantra OM and from withdrawing the mind from sensual stimulations. Spiritual relaxation comes when we connect with our Inner Self and become a detached witness to the body and mind. Retiring the body. Mental and emotional stress comes from a hectic lifestyle, highly demanding jobs, distractions of the mind, low vitality due to lack of prana, and negative emotions such as anger, hatred, jealously, fear and anxiety. Physical relaxation, mental relaxation, spiritual relaxation is a deeper type of relaxation, when we become contact, a detached witness of the body and mind.
Proper Diet: Correct nutrient and diet gives proper fuel for the body and mind without creating toxins and digestive problems. The Yogic vegetarian diet is sattvic (pure), and helps to calm the mind and to reveal the spirit as well as nourish the body. A vegetarian diet is a natural diet, fresh and wholesome, full of fiber and alkaline in nature, energy producing, and easy to absorb and to eliminate. It is a wonderful way to prevent heart deceases, arthritis, obesity and a good remedy for many chronic diseases.
Positive thinking and meditation: Thought creates destiny. A positive thought can create a positive personality or character that will bring about your future destiny. One needs to be responsible for one’s thoughts because one’s thoughts affect the invisible thought world, and in turn, affect the environment and the people around you positively or negatively. There are many positive thinking techniques coming from the classical four paths of Yoga.
We encourage you to attend one of these amazing, restorative classes or join us for our weekly talk Wednesdays, at Soup for the Soul at Chocolatree in Sedona.
As we continue to develop this special symbiotic relationship- we will continue to expand our offerings together, holding space and grateful for each other and the magical things to come.
"I am a simple peace pilgrim, a servant of God in our path of awakening to the One Truth. This is a statement of grace. I was so much, rather thought myself to be, but through grace I have stripped all of this away, and sit here now in the eternal and boundless presence of Self. This Ashram, this body and this mind are servants, and are here for the purpose of serving the Lord's mission and your own real purpose in coming here to this physical plane - supporting your path to your own immortal, divine Self."