About Vijñana Yoga
Vijñana yoga is an inclusive practice in being present. During practice we meet ourselves... our body and its sensations, our mind and its thoughts, our heart and its emotions. From sitting to kriyas, from pranayama to asana, we are both the performer and the watcher. The clearer we see ourselves during practice over long periods of time, the more able we become to change behavioral patterns and transform them.
As we allow ourselves to pause and listen from within, a sense of clear seeing, with respect and compassion for what it is we see, surfaces. It is the practice of not immediately filling up space just because there is a gap. The intuitive can then guide us towards the underlying states of being, where essence becomes more real than expression.
The very softest thing of all can ride like a galloping horse through the hardest of things. Like water, like water penetrating rock, and so the invisible enters in.
—Dao De Jing
Vijñana Yoga offers alignment for the physical body, recreating its natural connective tissue support through the exploration of the miofascia lines. Respecting the anatomical integrity of the body, it establishes the core support for a safe Asana practice. Through the ancient practice of the vayus we connect the breath to the organic spaces of the body revealing the core of the pranic sheath. The practice becomes then the expression of a fluid mind, a mind that does not have a fence around it, but has a boundless curiosity to explore.
As we sit, breathe and move as one we come closer to our truth.
Devotion and quiet persistency in our commitment to practice allows for clarity to surface and for joy to become one with the luminous dance of the Universe.
The term “Vijñana”, meaning the art of distinguishing, discerning understanding from within, is found in the old texts where the human being and the cosmos are described as having five layers.
The outer layer is called Ana-maya-kosha, this is the physical frame of the body. Encompassed within the outer layer is the Prana-maya-kosha, the energetic body. The Mano-maya-kosha is composed of word and thought, this is the mental layer. The Vijñana-maya-kosha is the deep intuitive intelligence that allows understanding, discernment and embodies insight and wisdom. The Ananda-maya-kosha is the inner most layer, the bliss self, the essence. The Joy.
“As directly as the physical vision sees and grasps the appearance of objects, so and far more directly does vijñana sees and grasps the truth of things.”
—Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga
This state of seeing and understanding seems to resonate with a way of being, seeing and acting that is both the means and the objective of our yoga practice.
Through the guiding lines of the seven principles, the practice of sitting, breathing, asanas and the study of texts, we aspire to refine and integrate the body, mind heart and consciousness.
The 7 Principles
Relaxing the body • Quieting the mind • Intent
~ Relax the body. Wherever there is gripping or tension - relax.
The mind is looking at the body with a parental eye. In this quiet observation the body will by itself, unfold and unwind, gradually allowing air and space to come back into the tense areas.
~The eyes look inward to catch the inner mood, the state of mind.
We observe our moods from an inner silence. Letting go of its activities, it sinks into a deeper state and becomes empty.
~The mind directs itself to the practice; the body awaits the practice; the heart embraces the practice...
Each inhalation is an intensification of intent,with each exhalation comes the sharpening of its direction... With each breath, with each pose we reaffirm our intent.
Rooting • Connecting • Breathing • Elongating
~The mind rests at the place where the body touches the earth.
As the roots of a tree deepen and widen into the earth, so the branches above expand into the sky.
~Like a chain floating in space, the rings that make up the chain never touch each other.
The more each part is distinct, the more the connection between them remains steady - The body in any situation moves in oneness.
~Inhale - go deep within: exhale - connect to the world. Inhale - accept what is; exhale - give yourself to the earth.
~When elongating and widening occur, not one ring touches another as the chain called body moves in space.