Satyananda yoga is a mild and therapeutic type of yoga. It has absolutely no contraindications for beginners or for elderly people. But this direction of yoga is hardly suitable for those who prefer fitness yoga and focuse on physical aspects. Philosophy, Indian traditions and culture are integral part of Satyananda yoga.
The main idea of this school is “clear consciousness in a healthy body”, complete liberation of the soul from darkness, higher relaxation and enlightenment.
This type of yoga was founded by Satyananda Saraswati, who was born in the Himalayas. In 1923 he was a student of the famous master of yoga Swami Sivananda. Satyananda studied for more than a decade from Sivananda, and then he went traveling. During his travels in Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Burma and Ceylon, he studied from the masters of Tantra yoga.
In 1963, Satyananda Saraswati organized his own school in Munger, which he called the Bihar school. This place includes ashram and research institute.
The teachers here teach Kriya yoga, Sadhana, yoga therapy, and other practical and theoretical disciplines. Among the students there are those who live here permanently, and those who come for a while to study. This university has separate branches in America, Australia, India, and Europe.
In 1984, Satyananda also organized the Yoga Research Foundation. There scientists make researches of the yogic practices effects on the human body and mind.
The main feature of this school of yoga is that it combines the most ancient practices with a new modern approach and vision. Satyananda developed this teaching specifically for the modern man with his rhythm of life. Practitioners of the Bihar school are based simultaneously on modern knowledge of human physiology and on ancient yogic and tantric teachings.
The Bihar school, unlike other schools that also originate from the teachings of Swami Sivananda, combines Yoga and Tantra. These are elements helping to awake the energy (prana) through visualization, and kriya (bandhas, asanas, breathing techniques).
Several poses (asanas) passed to the Bihar School from Hatha Yoga. They have a therapeutic effect. In addition, Shatkarmas (body cleansing procedures) are also a part of the school’s traditions.
The main goal of Satyananda Yoga is to work with Kundalini and make it flow through all the chakras of the human body, up to the highest spiritual chakra – Sahasrara. It is located outside the body (above the head).
Satyananda yoga practice
Satyananda Yoga School pays great attention to such practice as Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a type of meditation or mental sleep, performed in the motionless pose of Shavasana. This meditation is based on ancient Tantric practices that promote self-awareness and deepest relaxation.
Pranayama (breathing exercises) follow asanas. They helps to calm down the mind. After that, students practice Yoga Nidra. It takes most of the time. In this part, all that is required from the student is to be in Shavasana and follow the words of the instructor.
It happens this way: first, instructor names a part of the body, and then the student visualizes it, then touches it with his hand, and then sends the mantra to this area.
As in other schools, the correct practice of asanas and pranayama brings a beneficial effect on all parts of the human body and contributes to the filling of energy. Performing Shavasana regularly gives relaxation to both the body and the brain.
Yoga Nidra frees the mind from the negative blocks accumulated in it. It teaches how to manage our own mentality and remove psychological obstacles preventing us from realizing ideas and goals.