Vijnana Yoga

Vijnana Yoga

*Quiet mind – starting with a quiet mind through your Yoga practice to cultivate calm

*Relaxed Body – after quieting the mind the body can start to relax, beginning the practice from this de-stressed place

*Intent – Direct the mind to the practice with concentration and focus, complete presence 

*Rooting – Connect deeply to the earth by allowing weight downward, conscious leaning and letting down

*Connecting – finding the opposing directions in the body…. moving out from the centre and in from the periphery of the body; also through the anatomy trains of connections through the body

*Expanding – Imagining an expansion in all directions where every joint is supported, filling the internal with space

*Breathing – Consciously inhaling and expanding and exhaling and contracting – filling each pose with breath to support Triputy, Mind-Body connection with breath

 

 

Vijnana Yoga comes to us from the lineage listed in A Short History of Yoga, and continues to evolve to support us. The basis is to teach us to heel the mind/body split that occurs in all aspects of our lives, to bring Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga in unison. Therefore, taking practices of Asana, Pranayama, and Kriyas, and unifying them with the deep awareness that Meditation practices give.

We can bring our Yoga into balance by practicing the 7 Vital Principles of yoga as outlined in “Dancing the Body of Light”. We can cultivate the inner awareness of the subtle, intelligent body. The principles help our Yoga practices to become lighter, and supported form the deep muscular system that holds the skeletal structure.

Learning to use the smaller, “intelligent” muscles keeps us from using the bulkier, fight and flight muscles that are intended for fast bursts of energy. As we age, there is a normal muscular atrophying that takes place in our bodies. Using fight and flight muscles predominantly, thusly ignoring our long-term endurance muscles, creates insufficient support for our skeletal structure over time, gravity becomes a challenge to fight.

Following the 7 Principles of Vijnana Yoga helps fertilize and train awareness into the Myofascia system of the body, the Muscles and Fascia (connective tissue, tendons). We start to bring Yoga into our routines and daily lives. Through repetition of correctly aligning the body in Asanas and softening the attachment to ego, we can bring the experience of moving with the “light body” the least effort experience becomes the normal habit. It’s as if we can “do without doing.”

It’s possible to play with the 7 principles as individual ideas and then time will demonstrate the overlap and intertwining of them all. They support each other to find the practice from the inside out.

Starting your Yoga practice low to the ground and from deep inside lets you start the first two principles, Quiet mind and Relaxed body. These two principles intensify each other, as we relax our physical selves our minds loosen the grip to external awareness, and likewise in the reverse that quieting the mind can melt our bodies habit of gripping.

Rooting, Connecting and Expanding, all champion the other. We start by melting and leaning into the earth to elongate up and out of the ground, and by connecting inward and through the body we can move from this linked place to expansion.

Using Breath to infuse the poses allows us to “sandwich” intent into each pose or movement. We bring focus to the practice as a whole and awareness into deep parts of our uncharted selves. Each asana can be deepened, rooted, connected, expanded, and softened by using focused breathing.

One can practice one principle for days, months or years before focusing on another principle. The Vijnana Yoga (inner wisdom) can guide the practices in Yoga. Practice form the inside.