On 19th June, we are taking the day to love and cherish our ever-growing yoga community and invite you all to join us for International Yoga Day Celebration on Sattva Connect. You will have an opportunity to practice with some of our incredible teachers and also experience a satsang with Himalayan Master Anand Mehrotra. But first, let's understand what it is that we are celebrating! What is Yoga?
The word ‘yoga’, coming from the Sanskrit language, means union.
Yoga is not a religion. It’s the spiritual heritage of humanity. It’s a science, a technology, of wellbeing. It’s precise, comprehensive and it works. You don’t need to believe in yoga. It works for anyone who practices. It changes you for the better.
Sometimes people think that yoga is exercise, that it’s just about creating more flexibility or strength in the body, that you need a certain type of body in order to practice yoga – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yoga is for EVERY BODY and, yes, it includes asana (body postures), but there is so much more to yoga than that.
Yoga includes Meditation, Pranayama (breathwork), Naad yoga (the yoga of sound/mantra), Gyana (wisdom to correct the intellect and deepen our understanding), Bhakti (expanding the energy of the heart), Kriya (evolutionary action) and so much more.
And the benefits of yoga reach far and wide.
Humans are creatures of habit. So, if we don’t have conscious rituals, we will have unconscious ones. Yoga helps us to incorporate mindful rituals into our daily routine, replacing habits which are not mindful. As we do, we align ourselves with nature and raise our vibrational state.
Everything in nature responds to vibration and frequency. In yoga we work with the power of sound to experience the expansive energy of the electromagnetic field of the heart.
One way that we can do this is through chanting. Chanting is a rhythmical repetition of a song, prayer, word or sound.
Repetitive chanting has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing breathing and activating the vagus nerve. It decreases stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression and increases focused attention, relaxation and positivity. It also enhances our mood and increases feelings of social cohesion.
Studies have shown that chanting increases cerebral blood flow in areas of the brain known to deteriorate in Alzheimer’s patients.
And the repetition of mantras is an effective treatment for veterans diagnosed with military-related PTSD.
But we don’t need to have any of those issues in order for yoga to benefit us because we all breathe. In fact, it’s the thing that we do most in life. Yet often we aren’t breathing in an optimal way because of stress and poor habits. But when we can retrain ourselves to take deep breaths, the upward and downward movement of the diaphragm helps to remove toxins from the body, promoting better blood flow.
Breathwork reduces stress and helps to release trauma. It clears mental, physical and emotional issues, releasing anxiety, depression, fear, grief and anger. Breathing deeply also causes the body to release endorphins, the feel-good hormones. As we clear out what we have been carrying, our light shines through and our ability to communicate improves, allowing us to connect with ourselves and others in a deeper way.
That’s probably already good enough reason to dip your toe into the yoga world but there’s still so much more….
Most humans spend a lot of time thinking about the past and the future. This depletes our energy and makes us miss out on what’s happening right here and now. Meditation is a practice to train the mind to come into the present moment – the only place where life exists.
Consistent meditation leads to increased grey matter in the hippocampus. This part of the brain plays a huge role in memory and learning.
As you focus your attention on the present moment, the endless chatter of the mind subsides and you start to see more clearly and gain new perspectives on previously stressful situations.
Even just a few minutes of meditation can help reduce stress and restore your inner peace as you come into the present moment. This positively benefits your emotional wellbeing and your overall health.
Kriyas oxygenate the blood and rejuvenate the brain. The improved circulation benefits the brain cells resulting in less tiredness, a sharper mind and improved memory.
Kriyas are an elixir for good health - detoxifying, rejuvenating and uplifting all aspects of your being – body, mind and soul. They take us into deep states of shunya (silence) and as we go beyond the stories of the mind, wisdom rises up.
Hatha Yoga refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures (asana). It’s a preparatory process leading you to the experience of yoga (union). The word “ha” means sun, “tha” means moon so ‘Hatha’ is about balancing the energies of the sun and moon within you so that you can elevate your consciousness state.
Studies have found that people who do hatha yoga right before tackling a stressful task have lower blood pressure and lower cortisol levels compared to those who watched TV beforehand. The participants in the yoga group also reported feeling more confident about their performance.
And on top of all that, consistent hatha yoga practice helps people fall asleep more easily, improves quality of sleep and significantly reduces the need for sleep aids.
So to sum it all up…
As you deepen in your yoga practice, your consciousness begins to expand, self-observation increases and the voice inside will drop into silence. There is a sense of impersonal awareness that starts to develop between you and you.
As you come off the surface and dive deeper within yourself, you start to see yourself and your patterns more clearly. You can witness yourself from an impersonal state that has no judgment. This new awareness allows you to come out of the ever-repeating known, shifting old habits and finding new ways of being.
And a beautiful spaciousness arises in you.
Through yoga as a way of life, transformation happens. Yoga frees us from the habit of being ourselves - the self we have stumbled into, the conditioned self.
But don’t just take our word for it. Practice, experience it and verify it for yourself. Then it’s a truth that cannot be taken away by anyone.
For more information about the International Day of Yoga Celebration on Sattva Connect, please check out our Live Studio schedule here.
Sattva Connect offers 50% off on yearly memberships + on all courses from the 18th - 22th of June in honor and celebration of the Sacred Science that is Yoga.
Coupon code: InternationalDayOfYoga2022