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Deep approach to Ashtanga Yoga in Crozon.

Beneath the firmness of the supports, asserts itself
the true essence.
Light suction, vacuum expansion.
The breath guides, directs and supports.

Surrender, permanent immanence.
Aligned, flexible and stable.
Engaged in the posture, I am present.

In the space of the moment.

It was in Mysore in India and under the direction of Barath Shetty and his Indea Yoga team that I did my classes.

Hatha Yoga seen by Swami Vivekananda.
Practical advice.

Hatha Yoga deals exclusively with the physical body and aims to make it very strong. We do not have to worry about it here, because its practice is very difficult and cannot be learned in a day. Additionally, this method does not produce much spiritual growth. The goal here is physical and not psychological. There is not a single muscle in the body over which we cannot acquire complete control. We can make the heart beat or stop it at will, and we can likewise direct all parts of the organism.

The result of this particular yoga is to make us live to old age; health and the essential concern, the unique goal of hatha-yogin. He is determined not to have any illness and he does not have one. They live a long time; 100 years for him are nothing; he is still very young and fresh at 150 years old, without a single gray hair. But that’s all… A Bagnan sometimes lives 5000 years, but it still remains a tree and nothing more. If a man lives long, he is therefore nothing more than a healthy animal.

One or two common teachings of hatha-yogins are nevertheless very useful. So some of you will find that for headaches it is excellent to drink a little cold water through your nose as soon as you get up in the morning; throughout the day you will have a pleasantly cool head and you will never catch a cold. It’s very easy to do: dip your nose in water, inhale through your nostrils and pump with your throat.

Philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga

Yama purifies the mind, the Chitta.

Non-harm, truthfulness, non-covetousness, chastity, abstention from receiving anything from others constitutes Yama; this purifies the mind, the Chitta. Never causing pain (by thought, word and action) in any living being is what we call Ahimsâ, non-nuisance. There is no happiness higher than that which we obtain by this attitude of non-aggression towards all creation. Through truth (Satya) we attain the fruits of labor. Through the truth we achieve everything; in truth everything is fixed. Reporting the facts as they are: that is the truth. Do not take the property of others by trickery or force and call yourself asteya, not covetousness. Chastity in thought, word and deed, always, and in all circumstances, is called Brahmacharya. Not receiving any gift from anyone, even when suffering terribly, is what we call Aparigraha.

Niyama, habits and regular observances.

Niyama, habit and regular observances, that is to say: tapas, austerity; svadhyaya, study; santosha, contentment; saucha, purity; Ishvara-pranidhana, worship of God.

Fasting and other means of gaining control over one’s body are called physical tapas. Repeat of the Vedas and other mantras, repetition by which the sattva element in the body is purified is called study, svadhyaya. The sages taught that there are two kinds of purification: external and internal. Purification of the body with water, earth and other products and external purification, such as baths, etc. The purification of the mind by the truth and by all the other virtues is what is called internal purification. Both are necessary. It is not enough for a man to be internally pure and externally dirty. When one cannot be completely pure, internal purification is best, but no one will become yoga until he has both. Worship of God is done through praise, thought and devotion.

Asanas: posture.

The third limb of yoga is asana or posture. Asana brings steadiness, and lightness of limb. A steady and pleasant posture produces mental equilibrium and prevents fickleness of mind. Asanas are not merely gymnastic exercises; they are postures.  To perform them one needs a clean, airy place, a blanket  and determination, while for other systems of physical training one needs large playing fields on costly equipment. Asanas can be done alone, as the limbs of the body provide the necessary weight and counter-weights. By practicing them one develops agility, balance, endurance and great vitality.

Asanas have been  evolved over the centuries so as to exercise every muscle, nerve and gland in the body. They secure a fine physique, which is strong and elastic without being muscle-bound and they keep the body free from disease. They reduce fatigue and soothe the nerves. But their real importance lies in the way they train and discipline the mind.

Though the Yogi does not underrate his body, he does not think merely of its perfection but of his senses, mind, intellect and soul. 

The Yogi conquers the body by the practice of asanas and makes it a fit vehicle for the spirit.  He knows that it is a necessary vehicle for the spirit. A soul without a body is like a bird deprived of its power to fly. The Yogi  frees  himself from physical disabilities and mental distractions by practicing asanas. 

How to control prana is the sole subject of pranayama.

The yogins say that the particular manifestation hides a generalization. Behind all particular ideas there is a generalized, abstract principle. Grab it and you’ll hold everything. Just as the Vedas have generalized this universe into one Absolute Existence, and he who has grasped this Existence has grasped the whole universe, so all the forces have been generalized into this prana, and he who has grasped this prana has grasped all the mental and physical forces of the universe. He who has mastered prana has become master of his own mind and of all the minds that exist. He who has mastered prana has become master of his own body and of all bodies that exist, because prana is the generalized manifestation of force. How to control prana is the sole subject of pranayama. All these exercises and all these practices have no other purpose.

Pratyâhâra, mastery of the senses and the mind.

He who can at will connect his mind to the different centers or detach it from them has succeeded in pratyâhâra. This word means “to pick up in the direction of”, to curb the externalizing faculties of the mind, to free it from the slavery of the senses. When we can do this, our character will truly be formed; only then will we have taken a big step towards freedom. Until then we will just be machines.

How difficult it is to make yourself master of your mind! It is with good reason that he has been compared to a monkey gone mad. Once there was a monkey, already turbulent by nature, like all monkeys. As if that were not enough, someone made him drink a lot of wine, so that he became even more agitated. Then he was stung by a scorpion. when a man is stung by a scorpion, he jumps for a whole day; so the poor monkey found himself in a worse state than ever. to complete his misfortune, a demon entered him. What word could describe the frantic agitation of our monkey? The spirit of man is like this monkey. By his very nature, he has incessant activity, he becomes intoxicated with the wine of desire, which increases his agitation. After desire has taken hold of him, comes the sting of the scorpion inflicted by his jealousy of the successes of others, and finally the demon of pride settles in the mind and makes him attribute great pride to himself. importance. how difficult it is to master such a mind!

So beware of anything that deprives you of your freedom. Know that this is dangerous. Avoid it by all means in your power.

Dhârâna, concentration.

Dhâranâ consists of fixing the mind on specific points. That is to say, forcing the mind to feel certain parts of the body to the exclusion of others,to try for example, being aware of only one hand, to the exclusion of other parts of the body.When the chitta, the mental content, it restricted and confined to a certain place, it is the dhâranâ. This dhâranâ is of various kinds, and it is better to accompany it with a little imagination. The mind must be brought for example to think of a single point of the heart, which is very difficult. It is easier to imagine that there is a lotus, resplendent with sparkling light, and to fix the mind on him.