When we consider starting to do Yoga, as with anything to which we commit our time and resources, there is usually some compelling initial motivation or desire. To get fit and flexible, healing injury or pain, de-stress or to lose weight are common goals of the students I see. The first part of the journey is to find within the many techniques and practices of Yoga, the tools to resolve that need and attain their goals.Yoga classes that incorporate a balance of the physical body work through Yoga asana and augment them with additional breath-work and meditation practices can be a powerful agents of growth in health and healing.
All serious Yoga practice can be more than just a fitness regimen. It can be a form of Yoga as Therapy for everything. This is not to say yoga is enough for everything but nor is it overstating the potential for Yoga to address and help us heal so many of the difficulties that plague us. The trick for most of us is to find and direct our efforts in yoga to most efficiently and effectively to achieve the results we are seeking. Also, it is important to understand that seeking healing from this wellness/holistic perspective is quite different than our western approach, which often targeted at eradicating the effects(symptoms), without necessarily addressing what Yogis believe to be the deeper causes.
In this regard, working with the system of the Koshas is an important framework of “Yoga Therapy” The Kosha system is a representation of how the self is structured and is akin to seeing these aspects of self as layers of an onion From this system we can identify and employ the best practices of Yoga for us to bring the mind and body from conditions of stress and disease to greater balance and wholeness.
These koshas of or sheaths relate to:
***The physical body(Anamaya Kosha)
***The Energetic Body(Pranamaya Kosha)
***The Emotional Body(Manomaya Kosha)
***The Wisdom/Intellectual Body(Vijnanamaya Kosha
***The Bliss or Causal body(Anandamaya kosha)
At the Center of all this is Self. According to some schools of Yoga, and being able to know the Self unobscured by conflict or separation(Self Realizaation) is the highest attainment of Yogic meditation.
For more in depth understanding of the Koshas you can go here: http://www.swamij.com/koshas.htm
This way of understanding self and life is unique because in encompasses the idea that mind and body are not truly separate, a concept western medicine is embracing more in recent years. Indeed, in recent years some truly powerful wellness programs exist that involve a complimentary approach incorporating healing practices from eastern and western traditions.
Simply stated then, Yogis see all a manner of human suffering as coming from our sense of separation from our natural state of balance and connection to our deepest Self. When we are our healthiest our natural state is the joy of being at one with ourselves. Yogis believe disturbances or blocks in our physical, emotional or mental aspects can cause this sense of balance and inner integrity to be lost. Left unresolved this can create physical illness, energetic imbalances, emotions problems, mental disturbances or be at the root of deep restlessness and dissatisfaction. The techniques of Yoga are designed to address and remove the fundamental cause of this suffering at its source. All Yogic practices can target specific aspect or aspects of the self(Kosha) to bring purification and healing. Asana(Yoga posture), pranayama(breath work), chanting, imagery and meditation are the tools Yogis use to attain dissolve block and limitations to achieve its ultimate aims of deep healing and peace.
When more pressing, perplexing or more far reaching concerns plague us, a group class situation may not be helpful or appropriate. Additional guidance may be sought through individual Yoga instruction or Yoga Therapy. Whether the goals in Yoga are to help be part of the process of healing from dis-ease, navigate difficult stressful times, to help to assess and understand the cause and possible solutions to life dilemmas or to learn and experience more advanced Yogic and meditative practices tremendous transformation can take place in our practice and our lives with the focused commitment to Yoga as therapy.
As always this information is intended to be educational and does not replace responsible medical treatment. Read the site disclaimer for more information.
Follow this link to find information on the individual and group Yoga classes I offer in the Guilford, Madison, Branford and New Haven and Woodbridge Connecticut areas. I specialize in employing Yoga and other powerful energetic, meditative and relaxation practices that offer non-medical support and therapy to help with stress management and mitigating the physical and mental effects of long term stress.
For a free no risk consultation for answers to your questions or help deciding which services may best meet your needs please call me, Alan Franzi at (203)488-1700(203)488-1700(203)488-1700(203)488-1700.