Newsletter July 2015
What better way to celebrate the theme of ‘Evolution’ than to explore the evolution of our being through the practice of Kriya Yoga!
Swami Muktibodhananda is a Yoga Acharya (master of yoga), and teaches the ancient yoga practices to a modern day audience. She is joining us at Anahata Yoga Retreat beginning on 7th October 2015 to lead a 5-day residential retreat on Kriya Yoga. Kriya Yoga becomes a practical experience using the chakras, pranic (energetic) breathing practices, sound vibrations, mudras (psychic gestures) and bandhas (energy locks) to unfold the subtle layers of one’s own being.
We linked up with Swami Muktibodha to find out more about the fascinating practice of Kriya Yoga.
1. It is great that you are bringing Kriya Yoga to Anahata for the first time. What is it that drew you particularly to this yoga practice, compared to other yoga practices?
I discontinued classical ballet practise for yoga and found after 5 years that I was wanting to go deeper with my yoga practice. Kriya Yoga offered a deeper personal experience.
2. Kriya yoga has been explained as being a complete system that aims towards “controlling the vital life-force and bringing awareness and control over the mind and body.” How would you put it in your own words?
Through continual practise of Kriya Yoga you can break through mental barriers that restrict you from being your authentic self.
3. What are psychic gestures?
Simple positions of the body, coinciding with controlled breathing and mental focus to direct vital and mental energy to specific areas of the body and brain, thereby arousing meditational experiences.
4. How does the state of mind change through Kriya Yoga?
Your state of mind will inevitably change for the better through any constant practice, be it learning piano or Kriya Yoga. Through Kriya Yoga you develop specific neural pathways in the brain that allow an increased energy flow in the body and brain. Practise of Kriya Yoga changes negative mental patternings without focusing on them, and releases inhibitions that are holding you back in life. If you want to clear yourself of thoughts and emotions that prevent you from being your true self, then Kriya Yoga practise can remove these blockages. The most important state of mind with everything you do in life is “witnessing”. Be the observer and know that mind is ever changing like the seasons; this is the basis to progress in life. Practise of Kriya Yoga enables you to realise your inner consciousness is separate to mind, as well as the relationship of body and mind.
5. It must have been very intensive living at Bihar School of Yoga in India for 10 years. How would you compare the Indian style of teaching to that of the West?
When I first lived at Bihar School of Yoga, I learnt through osmosis. By quietening the ego and allowing the intuitive mind to connect with a master, information is able to flow. Body is separate, consciousness is connected when you allow the ego that differentiates you to subside. Generally in the West you learn by studying books, the practical experience may or may not come later. In the ashram I learnt to have the direct experience first, then I studied later; study verified my experience.
6. What is your favourite memory from Bihar School of Yoga?
Playing in the first monsoon rain after the heat of summer. We had no air conditioning (or heating), we often had no electricity for the fans. Playing in the rain was a welcome respite.
7. You mention the exploration of chakras that you will be looking at further in the course. Can you give us some more information on the importance of chakras?
Chakras support the energetic and physical body; they also are the means for the mind to expresss and experience the world. Understanding about your chakras is essential to know what drives you in life to fulfil your basic needs of security, fun, power, love, creative expression and freedom.
8. What books do you read in your spare time?
Biographies, I find peoples’ lives interesting.
9. What sort of style do you teach in?
Bihar Yoga (and my style :)
10. Is it difficult to combine the scientific aspects of yoga with the traditional aspects of ancient yogic practices? Please explain.
I prefer to use the word ‘challenging’ rather than ‘difficult’, in any situation of life. Science is catching up with explaining yoga practices and the experiences of yogis. Not everything is known yet scientifically. There is a lot of evidence based research available on the internet and there is a significant amount yet to be done.
For more about Swami Muktibodha’s personal style of teaching, take a look at her personal website: http://www.yoga-with-muktibodha.info
Related Product: Swami Muktibodha is the author of the internationally recognized Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Visit the Products section for more...
To Register: Visit Anahata's website for more information on the course. Early Bird Rates until September 7th are just $550 for this amazing 5-day course!
SPECIAL Deal! Travel package from Brisbane / Australia has been organized: 5–12 October 2015, incorporating the Kriya Yoga Retreat with return flights from Brisbane, and the option of an extra day to explore beautiful Golden Bay. Click on this link for details.
To discuss a travel package from departure points other than Brisbane, contact Sue Farley directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).