The most common question in Yoga is “ what style do you practice “ ?
Years ago this would make me pause for a moment and think.
My yoga is very much like my personality, relaxed, fun, playful, with a mix of discipline, dedication and work.
The answer to the above by the way is Hatha Yoga, but my particular lineage and in particular my teachers teacher Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati, involved a good mix of many of the styles or subsequent offshoots of Yoga.
One root and different branches
Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Bikram, Bhakti and many more are all off shoots or branches of Hatha Yoga.
How my journey started
When I was looking and searching for something in my life I needed something that would offer me pieces of my missing puzzle, as you know puzzles have many different parts and what ever I found needed allot of aspects to help me.
My first experience of yoga involved an empty church hall where I was the only student, the evening before I had been out drinking and my head was still telling the story of that. I remember the teacher politely asking if I wanted to cancel the session as I was the only one, there was probably a part of me that wanted to say yes.
The class began and I threw myself into it, we breathed, we moved, we stretched and we relaxed. I was completely new to yoga and had no idea what power and possibility I had started to unleash.
I remember after the session feeling like I was brand new, I had stopped for a while, the world had slowed down a bit , my hangover was gone and for the first time in a long while hope replaced despair.
I found my path
My journey continued with this same teacher for a while and as often happens with teachers they stop or move away, I looked for others teachers locally to continue with and after a class hopping exercise looking for familiarity I found my place.
I found a studio locally called the Yoga sanctuary, It was run by a family unit very similar to mine, I could feel connection. Steve my teacher taught his Hatha Yoga lineage in a way that I had no where to run to, the classes were busy and cramped and taught in total silence. The sound of everyone breathing in unison was meditative and our flow was pretty much the same every week.
We chanted mantras, flowed in movement and breath and learnt breathing techniques to push our boundaries. The whole session was a huge massage to our nervous system. We would have a satsang ( a bit of a chat ) every week on practical aspects of how yoga helps us as well as connect us with what ever Bhakti or purpose bought us there.
So that’s my style
This is how my Yoga or my style continued for many years and still does, I broke down barriers which I had myself created, opened doorways which I had sealed myself.
I want to give that to you, I want you to walk through those doors with me like I walked with my teacher.