Integral yoga is a holistic approach to the development of body and soul, based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo.
Aurobindo Ghose was born in 1872 in India, in Calcutta. He was born in a religious high-caste family. From early childhood he received an excellent education, he attended an English school. At an early age, his family sent him to study in England.
After graduation, he decided to return home. In India he was overwhelmed by national problems, in particular, India’s independence from colonial oppression. His political activities were impactful and brought him to jail.
An important stage in his life is the beginning of deep study of the Vedanta, ancient religious writings such as: Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Upanishads. He devoted almost all his time to it. It helped him to look at the world at a different angle. In addition, by that time he began to practice hatha yoga. He was interested in all levels of personal development.
When he was in prison, he experienced a mystical enlightenment. After that, Aurobindo moved away from a violent political struggle and devoted himself to the study of Vedanta, yoga, and writing philosophical works. Soon he met Mirra Alfassa, who will later become his faithful companion, helper, right hand. Later she started to promote the teachings of Integral Yoga in India and the world.
Integral yoga purpose and effects
The purpose of the practice is to understand ourselves, to gain a clear mind and make our bodies healthy. This teaching combines bhakti, karma, and shakti yoga.
Often, yoga practice is 1-1.5 hours of sweating and 15 minutes of meditation at the end, and then again family, problems, worries… Going deeper into practice, many people have to choose: yoga or life? The motto of integral yoga is “All Life is Yoga.”
Integral yoga classes include the practice of asanas and pranayamas in combination with mudras, bandhas, mantras, concentration, and meditation. Regular practice cleanses the physical and energy structures, increases the level of sensitivity. Having mastered this teaching, a person eradicates diseases and further learns to manage his energy flow in any place and situation.