The Sanskrit word yogastha translates to: "abiding in the discipline of yoga." The line from the Yoga scripture, The Bhagavad Gita: "Yogastha Kuru Karmani," is the answer given to the warrior Arjuna, regarding his question of how to act in this world. For Arjuna, the question of how to act is presented to his charioteer Krishna, an incarnation of the Divine, on a field just prior to battle. While in the story the war is real, the lesson for the reader is to understand that for the spiritual aspirant, actions taken in life must be faced with discernment; and that true peace is not found through the undertaking and outcome of action, but rather our Truth is known as the timeless reality within which action cannot touch. The essence of this discourse in The Bhagavad Gita is that as long as one is identified with action, then care must be taken as to how one moves through this world if one wishes to grow and evolve toward a higher realization of Self. "Abiding in the discipline of yoga" is to acknowledge that it is through mindfulness of movement where one may come to realize the fulfillment found in the peaceful center of all movement.
As the Bhagavad Gita is a source of inspiration for leading a life that is deeply connected; another ancient text, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, is a step-by-step manual on how to make this approach as advocated through the 8 limb path. Most all modern practices of yoga today can be traced back to this one source as a bedrock for their teachings. This Raja Yoga instruction that is the 8 limb path of yoga, outlines the specific process of how the practices of yoga are employed so that the unified state of yoga can be realized. This process is inclusive of asana (yoga postures), since the body is the vehicle of expression for all personal action in this world. While the practice of yoga postures holds a strong focus on establishing health and balance in the physical body, the basis of this physical exercise in the truest yogic sense is to explore the mind/body relationship as the path to knowledge of the Supreme Self which remains beyond the limits of the mind/body.
Yogastha Sadhana is a specific vinyasa yoga practice designed to promote a daily practice of all 8 limbs of Raja Yoga. The method has been developed with profound consideration of the vast knowledge advanced through the teachings of the master of modern yoga, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. The physical challenges of the 4 different Series in Yogastha Sadhana include posture accommodations for a mindful development of the practice for all level students through each of Series. Pranayama (breath control) is a vital, daily aspect of this practice with specific breath exercises paired with each corresponding Series. This, along with the vinyasa quality of the asana practice (linking breath with the precise movement of the body) which is to be developed and maintained through the duration of the each Series will continue to enhance the focus of pranayama. Textual study and contemplation, along with the practice of meditation is also incorporated into the daily practice. A mind fit for meditation is a mind that is not entertaining ignorance and is firmly established in the insights of true knowledge. The deeper understanding that comes from the field of higher contemplation is an essential practice in itself and the importance of this process of inquiry should not be neglected on the yogic journey. Just as yoga postures continue to change and deepen with dedicated, regular practice on the mat; so does the capacity and understanding of the mind through these expansive practices of contemplation and meditation done regularly. The contemplative practice on yogic scripture and wisdom, and the practice of meditation, are integrated at the conclusion of every practice of Yogastha Sadhana. As an intentional Raja Yoga vinyasa practice, this method is offered to the aspirant who seeks a devoted way of honing the skill and presence of a dynamic body, honoring the power and vitality of a life-affirming breath, and realizing the wise and expanded nature of an open mind.