YOGA IS a practice of “union.” We experience our body more fully (through postures, breathing, and meditation) in order that we may also connect with that which is greater that us. Some call that “greaterness” the divine, others call it love, peace or simply presence. My experience is that whatever people call it, most gain clarity, compassion, gratitude for life, and personal empowerment. Yoga blends body awareness, conscious breathing, flexibility, strength, endurance and balance. It can be a beautiful practice, accommodating people at any level. For these reasons, it has been fundamental in helping me become comfortable in my body, enjoy it and truly appreciate it.
Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. In Yoga, the body is treated with care and respect for it is the primary instrument in where their is work and growth. Yoga Exercises improve circulation, stimulate the abdominal organs, and put pressure on the glandular system of the body, which can generally result to better health.
In Western Culture, most of us are accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for fulfillment. We are living in a world that conditions us to believe that outer attainments can give us what we want. Yet again and again our experiences show us that nothing external can completely fulfill the deep longing within for “something more.” Most of the time, however, we find ourselves striving toward that which always seems to lie just beyond our reach
We are caught up in doing rather than being, in action rather than awareness. It is hard for us to picture a state of complete calmness and repose in which thoughts and feelings cease to dance in perpetual motion. Yet it is through such a state of quietude that we can touch a level of joy and understanding impossible to achieve otherwise. Through the practice of Yoga one begins to find this harmony within their-self and their environment. The Yogis formulate a way to achieve and maintain this balance of life and it is done through exercise, breathing, Meditation and a connection to the divine through the path of devotion.
Seen in this light, yoga is described as a spiritual path, often broken down into the following eight stages as delineated by the sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra
Niyama/Observance – Positive actions to cultivate
Asana/Posture – Releasing gross tensions from the body
Pranayama/Breath Regulation – Harmonizing body, mind, and breath
Pratyahara/Introversion – Withdrawing attention from external distractions
Dharana/Concentration – Focusing the mind on a single point
Dhyana/Meditation – Accessing a state of flow
Samadhi/Oneness – Effortless, integrated being, connection to the Divine
The Five Branches of Yoga
Whether you are devotional or intellectual in nature, yoga has a path for you
Hatha Yoga — a system of physical postures, or asanas, whose higher purpose is to purify the body, giving one awareness and control over its internal states and rendering it fit for meditation.
Karma Yoga — selfless service to others as part of one’s larger Self, without attachment to the results; and the performance of all actions with the consciousness of The Divine as the Doer.
Mantra Yoga — centering the consciousness within through japa, or the repetition of certain universal root-word sounds representing a particular aspect of Spirit.
Bhakti Yoga — all-surrendering devotion through which one strives to see and love the divinity in every creature and in everything, thus maintaining an unceasing worship.
Jnana (Gyana) Yoga — the path of wisdom, which emphasizes the application of discriminative intelligence to achieve spiritual liberation.
Yoga Teacher Training
Michael Mukunda Chandra Kohan offers guest lectures for 200 and 500 hour teacher trainings on the following topics
The Bhagavad Gita – The Bhagavad Gita translated as the”Song of the Lord often referred to as simply the Gita, is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Bhagavad Gita discusses the concept of Dharma, bhakti yoga, the yogic ideals of moksha through jnana, bhakti, karma, and Raja Yoga.
The History and Philosphy of Yoga – Yoga’s history has many places of obscurity and uncertainty due to its oral transmission of sacred texts and the secretive nature of its teachings. The early writings on yoga were transcribed on fragile palm leaves that were easily damaged, destroyed or lost. The development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, but some researchers think that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old old. Yoga’s long rich history can be divided into four main periods of innovation, practice and development. Pre-Classical Yoga, Classical Yoga, Post-Classical Yoga, and Modern Yog
Theory – 8 branches of yoga, including meditation and overall goal of yoga throughout history. The practice of the Eight Limbs of Yoga is referred to as practicing raja yoga, or the Royal Path, named to distinguish the practice from hatha yoga, which came later. Raja yoga creates stillness and contemplation as the path unfolds throughout the eight limbs which then folds back to the first couple of verses in the sutras, from prakruti back to purusha:
The 7 Chakras – The study of 7 chakras originates in Eastern spiritual traditions that consider the seven primary chakras the basis of our human existence. The basic human chakra system, as it is commonly accepted, consists of seven chakras stretching from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. The seven chakras are the centers in our bodies in which energy flows through.
Intelligent Yoga Sequencing – Two primary objectives of the physical practice of yoga are to: (1) create balance in the body through the development of strength and flexibility, and (2) establish a deep connection between breath and movement. While there are an abundance of asanas (commonly referred to as postures or poses) in yoga, the foundation for a physical practice should focus on practicing postures progressively in order to enhance steadiness, alertness and overall comfort — qualities referred to as sthira and sukha in the Yoga Sutras
Teaching Methodology observing, speaking, structuring a class, sequencing a flow
The Art of Assisting – The role of assisting a yoga class is a subtle art based on touch, intuition and service. Students will learn how to deepen their student’s postures by offering yoga assists through Thai Bodywork principals of support, connection, and unconditional positive regard for the student.
Chakra Tuning Workshop – The chakras are ‘doorways’ through which we perceive reality. The practice of Chakra Tuning gives you the keys to open all of the ‘doorways’ in your life, purifying your relationship to yourself, to others, and to the world around you. This energizing and inspiring practice is done through exploration of vinyasa yoga poses and mantras associated with each chakra. This is a 3 hour introduction to chakras, where studentws will work with movement, visualization and meditation to promote self exploration and healing. Students will explore the subtle body and learn about the main energy centres (chakras) – what they are, why they are relevant, techniques to help release blockages and encourage balance. This class is suitable for everyone.
Partner Yoga Workshop – Partneer yoga is hands on and cultivates playfulness in a studetns practice. Students will Learn to deepen their yoga poses and connections with others. Partner Yoga invites openness, patience, communication, and balance into a students yoga practice and relationships. Partnesr will help each other to relax physical, mental, and emotional tensions. Working with a partner helps a student to open your body his or her body more deeply for optimal benefits. Partner Yoga presents participants with the opportunity to surrender completely to another individual, giving way to feelings of security and attachment to another human being.Partner yoga is for all levels of yoga practitioners, from novice to the seasoned yogi, who are interested in increasing fitness, releasing tension, strengthening relationships, and having a good time.No previous yoga experience or partner is necessary; All levels