“The pleasure of tasting the fruit far exceeds that of climbing the tree.”
Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
Yogastha Sadhana is a multi-limbed vinyasa yoga system which incorporates pranayama, Sutra contemplation and meditation into a daily asana practice. There are 4 Series to this practice and each are anchored in a designated vinyasa system of moving the body in specific coordination with each breath throughout the entire practices session. While this practice offers a physically demanding challenge in developing bodily strength and flexibility; the intention of the practice is to recognize the power behind the structure of all levels of our existence - body, breath and mind - and to fearlessly move deeper into each of these levels. Each practice begins with pranayama (breath control), surya namaskara (sun salutations), along with a consistent set of standing postures, before moving into the chosen Series.
Series 1 ~ "Raja Vinyasa"
Series 1 is a lotus based vinyasa practice that establishes the body in much needed balance and symmetry. This practice is the foundation for advancing into Series 2, 3, and 4 of Yogastha Sadhana, along with being fundamental to advancing deeper into the 8 limbs of yoga through a fully developed mind/body relationship. Steady vinyasa sequences guides the practitioner into the advance of forward bends, hip opening and the full lotus posture.
Series 3 ~ "Sthita Prajna"
The yogi steady in wisdom through a devoted, one-pointed practice is the translation of this Series labeled "Sthita Prajna." With the required emphasis on bandha control, arm balances, and postures that stabilize the spine, Series 3 teaches the embodiment of steadiness. This practice begins with kapalabhati pranayama.
Series 2 ~ "Sattvabhyasa"
Series 2 is a vinyasa practice that promotes the lightness and intelligence of the body through back bends, twists, and arm balances. This practice begins with nadi shodhana pranayama. Along with the development of more intricate asanas and vinyasas, the endurance requirements are enhanced moving into this 2nd Series practice.
Series 4 ~ "Dharma Meghah"
Deep back bending, hip opening and spinal twists marks the realization of openness and presence in this final Series which bears the name “Cloud of Virtue”. This, from Patanjali’s reference to the way rain pours forth from a cloud, the virtues of practice pours forth for the yogi only as more and more depth is gained. This practice begins with kumbhaka pranayama.
Series 5 ~ "Open Practice"
There are a total of 5 Series integral to the Yogastha Sadhana system. Series 1 - 4 are formatted for the sake of developing precision, alignment and intelligence in relating to form and movement - body, breath and mind. The mindfulness developed through these regimented practices continues into the 5th Series as a self-led, open formatted practice. The 5th Series provides the practitioner time and space to explore the bodily expression of an intuitive awareness and to follow that intelligence in the shaping of their practice as they see fit; without following a pre-established format. The wisdom of this self-led practice will grow as the student grows within the structure of Series 1-4.
In the tradition of the teachings of yoga, with an understanding of both practice and non-attachment as being equally crucial for the yogi, it is vital that the student learn through form and discipline provided by each of the prescribed Series through a committed daily practice without getting lost in the structured form of a practice. It is in the 5th Series where the student actively participates in evolving both the practice and themselves by tapping into the intuitive perception, trust and guidance that can only be found within.
Yogastha Sadhana is available as a practice for all level students seeking greater phyiscal health, more energy through the breath, and greater clarity of the power of the mind; a centering found in a restful heart - the unmoving vantage point from where the truth of Self is known.
For the safety, well being, and proper advancement of the student practicing Yogastha Sadhana, all training in the postures and vinyasas for each of the Series, along with the method of the pranayama and meditation exercises should be learned from an authorized teacher of Yogastha Sadhana.