Sattva Yoga is an integrated, holistic and profoundly transformative practice. It is rooted in the Vedantic and Tantric traditions of the Himalayas. The teachings include Meditation, Pranayama (breathwork), Kundalini and Kriya techniques, Wisdom, Laya movements, Bhakti (devotional practices), Mantra, free movement, partner work and hatha asana but it is much more than the sum of all that.
Sattva Yoga is a way of living life, a science of the evolution of consciousness. It is about opening up the possibilities of life, connecting to the cosmic flow, to the flow of creation. It is learning to be a channel for the infinite. It is about being fierce and fearless while being completely vulnerable and present to the innate bliss within each of us.
The practices are liberating on every level of existence. It is about showing up fully in life, about conscious living, connecting to your light, growing it and spreading it in the world. It is truth not based on any ideology, but truth that shatters all opposition.
Through the practice of yoga, we create an integrated human, aligning our conscious and subconscious minds. You meet yourself before the mind so that you can influence it. To create an integrated being, we need an integrated practice and that is what Sattva Yoga is.
What is the Integrated Approach?
The integrated approach includes Raja Yoga, Gyana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Tantra Yoga. The first four are the foundational pillars.
Raja Yoga is the yoga of meditation, silence and connection to the unified field of stillness. Raja means royal. It is the fundamental practice. It is about being able to exist elegantly in the moment without reacting or needing anything. You can’t think your way out of insanity. You can only transcend it by being silent, without needing anything at all.
Gyana Yoga is the yoga of wisdom, intellect, truth, refinement and understanding. It involves challenging ourselves on our unquestioned beliefs and coming to correct knowledge, examining our tendencies and views. Agyana is incorrect knowledge or ignorance, the unconscious assumptions and conclusions that we have about life. Agyana is simply our conditioning but it feels like knowledge and so we act based on it.
To get to Gyana you need to face your Agyana. Gyana is not just information, not just theory, but applied truth. It involves deepening our understanding, correcting our intellect, asking questions such as “Who am I?”, “What is my purpose?”. It is about moving in the direction of the Truth of who we are, freeing ourselves from the habit of who we are, as the person you believe yourself to be is just a habit. We correct our knowledge through Satsangs (wisdom talks), study of ancient texts and svadhyaya (study of self).
Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of surrender, devotion and love. It is about cultivating the energy of the heart, leading from the heart and aligning ourselves with creative intelligence. We can do this through kirtan (devotional chanting), connection with sangha (community), partner work and sacred rituals, such as puja and aarti, which bring us into the heart space, increasing our receptivity.
Karma Yoga is the yoga of liberated action and service, our whole being as service. The ego thinks that it is the effect, but the ego is simply a hallucination. We are the cause, not the effect.
Action is of two types:
1) Action that binds you and creates suffering. This is action that arises from wrong knowledge and causes more wrong knowledge, reaffirming the belief that you have. For example, the person feels that they don’t belong and then they act in ways that reaffirm this. They keep projecting this out and living their own personal hell.
2) Progressive action, which requires vigilance, noticing how you are acting and shifting your behaviour in the moment. In this way you evolve.
Then there is Tantra Yoga. ‘Tan’ is energy and ‘tra’ is expansive, so we are working with the expansive potential of energy. Tantra yoga includes Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Hatha and Naad yoga.
Kriya is the yoga of electricity (subtle practices). It means action that leads to evolution, expansion and liberation. In Sanskrit, ‘Kri’ means action and ‘Ya’ is another name for the atman (soul). A kriya is a technique or action designed to create a specific evolutionary response, the purpose of which is to go into deep states of shunya (silence).
These practices help people awaken their Kundalini energy and increase their ability to hold and sustain it. Kundalini is our infinite potential. It rises up as we come into greater harmony within ourselves. Kriyas generate electricity though repetitive movements (and sometimes mantras), transforming our energy and creating shifts in our being.
Naad Yoga is the yoga of sound, using sound to move and shift energy. An example of this is Mantra which allows us to come out of the repetitive loops of the mind and find new ways of being.
Laya is the yoga of flow, the fluid flow of the heart. It has a feminine quality. It later morphed into Tai Chi. These movements are very meditative and profound. They are devotional and they balance chi (prana or life force).
Hatha asana is the yoga of the body. It helps to open the nadis (energy channels) and distributes energy from other subtle practices around the body.
So, how did Sattva create the Integrated Approach?
Sattva yoga didn’t bring all these practices together. Sattva just never separated them. The separation of the different practices only started to happen as the teachings began to move down from the Himalayas, away from the source. Only as they left the birthplace of yoga did this dilution happen.
This is why the name is Sattva. It means ‘whole’ in Sanskrit. It is an inclusive path and it meets you where you are at.
Are you ready?
Sattva Yoga was founded by Himalayan Master, Anand Mehrotra. You may read more about Anand and his many initiatives here. Sattva Yoga is what is shared on the Sattva Connect platfrom. You may also study with Anand at his academy in the Himalayas (read more).