Most people know yoga as the physical postures and breathing sessions one sees advertised at the local gym or a religion reserved for flexible Hindus. In fact the physical postures, known as ASANA are only the third step on the eight fold path to enlightenment according to Patenjali, the father of yoga who penned his SUTRA'S around 500 b.c.e
A basic overview would reveal each step as;
Step 1 Yama
Refers to universal principles, what goes up must come down, gravity and magnetism to the more metaphysical phenomenon like what you give you get, what you think you create, etc.
Step 2 Niyama
Refers to personal morals and ethics.
Who are you in relation to everything else, what is your stance on materialism, politics, your body, other beings, the natural world, money, love etc. Taking the time to consider these types of questions will help you think with clarity as opposed to being forced to think on the spot when faced with a moral issue or social question. Prescribing your viewpoint creates character and protects one from social pressures and the opinions and incorrect responses of one's peers. Often it sets one apart, as a leader or even a pioneer in one's thinking.
Step 3 Asana
The physical postures of yoga most are familiar with. There is right practice and wrong practice. Right practice is doing the postures correctly, in an unhurried peaceful state while breathing deeply and consistantly. Asana can have life prolonging qualities and promotes healing and right living in the short term.
Step 4 Pranayama
Prana is life, yama is force (as in the force of the universe/spirit/God) Breath is life. This seemingly simple statement is a most powerful healer in itself. If you were denied breath for 5 min you would surely die. Breath is life. Use it to bring life and healing into one's body, with immediate results.
Step 5 Pratyahara
Withdrawal of the senses. Karate movies show us neophyted training in impossible situations, punching waved or trees, meditating or performing kata under an icey waterfall, enduring intense heat, cold or discomfort, only to emerge stronger, more disciplined and victorious.
Step 6 Dharana
Stillness. Learning to be quiet is a task most young people struggle with. Stilling the mind is far more challenging that most initially expect. Zen refers to emptyness, a motionless glass or body of water, a clean canvas. It is better to be still and think of nothing, a clear canvass, than the 'demons' that occupy many of our minds disguised as fear, anger, resentment, revenge, and anguish.
Step 7 Dhyana
The practice of meditation. So many have told me numerous resons why they cannot meditate, from an annoying dog to no privacy, to a constantly chattering mind. As much as these are valid reasons they are also the whole point to seperate the illusions of life from our state of peace. When one sits down to meditate it is inevitable that you will be distracted. We must learn to use the distraction- the baking sun, the aching back, whatever it may be, this is a gift, the gift you have chosen from the universe to help you overcome your own lack of discipline.
Step 8 Sumadhi
To achieve the benefits of the previous seven steps
To live deviod of the illusions of happiness and sadness. To live in a state of faithful bliss believing everything happens for a purpose and its all perfect.
As you can tell, this is a life path not an exercise for girls. Women seemed more alligned with Eastern philosophies where female plays duel suitor and goddess alongside her male compliment. Further aspects of feminine divinity can be seen in deities such as Pavati, Avolkitsvara and Kali.
Andrew has several years experience practicing and teaching yoga to old and young alike.
I believe in the physical and psycho/spiritual benefits this enlightening exercise offers and it would be an honour to share it with you.
One on one
Andrew will come to your home, bless your sacred space, assist you with some feng shui to get the flow of chi correct in that space and teach you how to prepare and work within that space.
He will listen to your needs and prescribe the correct asanas for you.
Also, should you suffer from sleep disorders, stress, headaches, etc, Yoga and breath are most effective and exercises can be prescribed to overcome these.
Create the most awesome sensual quality time with the man or woman in your life. Andrew will show you how to work together and teach you several sequences for physical and sexual health, variety and vitality and open a completely new chapter and level of your relationship.
Group yoga sessions create a wonderful intimate sense of community. Young and old can practice together and no level of adept or ineptness disqualifies anyone.
Even your stiff old body will be supple as a new young reed within 3 weeks.