The tradition of yoga goes back thousands of years. Yoga entails many spiritual, mental and physical aspects, most of which are not commonly known in the Western World. The practice of asanas, after all, is only one of the 8 limbs of yoga. Some teachers add some pranayama exercises and a short meditation to their classes. But still, we only focus on a tiny part of yoga.
A tradition so old and vast as yoga can easily lose some spiritual elements over the course of time.
Don’t get me wrong. Incorporating physical exercise, breathwork and meditation into our practice is giving us a profound push in wellbeing and health. Both physically and mentally.
But has your yoga practice satisfied your thirst for more knowledge? Or has it made you even more curious? Curious to learn more about all the little things mentioned in your yoga class? The spiritual elements to our practice, that aren’t tangible are harder to understand but crucial for a holistic yoga practice.
Where are you currently in on your yogic journey?
My practice made me very curious! After a yoga class and especially after my teacher training I could be found googling aspects of yoga, that I was yearning to learn more about.
The Koshas, the meaning and purpose of the different Mudras, Bandhas, Nadis, Chakras, the three qualities and much more. Many of these elements are just a footnote in our Western yoga practice, or their meaning is transformed and adapted, so we can explain them on a physical level.
As regular yoga practitioners or teachers, many of us find ourselves stuck at one point. Stuck in a routine, repeating the practice we know, affirming what we know without questioning it, lacking motivation to look further. Maybe you’ve arrived at a point where chasing your breath around your body makes you only yawn after years of practice, and you finally want to start integrating some crazy asanas into your practice and fly?
No matter if you are a teacher or a student – Are you ready to dig deeper?
Also teachers need to be constantly on the lookout for new insights and knowledge they can weave into the classes to keep students curious and to give them a glimpse of what more there is to yoga. To spark the fire inside them. It can become a drain when lacking inspiration, and many teachers are looking for some new ingredient to spice up their own practice as well as their classes.
If you identify with one of the scenarios above, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and start the next chapter of your personal yoga journey.
We have many options to dive deeper in any field of yoga we desire to learn more about.
We can start by asking more questions, do research, or buy the Bhagavad Gita. We can take private classes to take on new challenging postures, helping us to finally master that bad ass headstand.
Or we can book an intensive yoga course. But then again: Which school of yoga will give us the answers we are looking for? Because we want to know it all.
When yoga was branching out into the Western World, much of the knowledge and original purpose got lost in translation, literally. It’s mainly the spiritual side of yoga that is unknown here, and also yoga teacher training courses are designed for one specific school of yoga, like Ashtanga or Hatha, so they only scratch the surface of the spiritual layer.
So which direction and course should you choose if you are eager to dive deep into all aspects of yoga?
Andrey Lappa has created a new way of teaching the classic yoga.
He called it Universal Yoga. Universal Yoga embraces all aspects of philosophy, pranayama, asana, and koshas, as everything is interconnected. Andrey brings together ancient wisdom from the East, with the latest science from the West.
Universal yoga comprises original teachings from India plus new methods developed by Andrey, always aiming to reach Oneness through the practice and activation of all shells.
According to the traditional vedic yoga, humans consist of the following shells, or layers, of self: The physical, energetic, psychic, mental and karmic shell.
In Universal yoga, Andrey teaches methods to balance and to unify these five shells. Once you’ve understood this concept, you can work with each shell depending on your needs in a certain point of your life.
Another focus of Universal Yoga are the Kleshas (negative thoughts) and how we can overcome them, as Kleshas are seen as the origin of all suffering in Buddhist tradition.
If you are ready to be physically challenged, good. Universal yoga asana sequences are energetic and physically demanding, building up your strength and flexibility. Universal Yoga could be the exactly the practice you need to deepen your practice, physically but especially spiritually.
Andrey Lappa is one of today’s most sought after yoga teachers worldwide. He has been practicing yoga for 38 years, and has been travelling most of his life in Mongolia, India, Nepal, Bujatia and Siberia where he learned from internationally renowned yogis and Buddhists, before he created Universal Yoga. He is now passing on his knowledge in his popular courses all over the world.
Are you ready to step up your yogic game and go back to where it started?
Vikasa Yoga Retreat is hosting one of Andrey Lappa’s Yoga Teacher Trainings in September 2018.