Shivananda yoga is considered as a classic form of Hatha yoga and propagates Swami Sivananda’s teachings. Practice of this yoga is based on safeguarding health and well-being of the practitioners. Twelve poses have been designed in order to improvise endurance, flexibility and strength.
Furthermore, these help in practicing meditation easily. In order to teach this yoga type, the individuals need to graduate completing the Shivananda yoga training course. This course is exclusively offered at Shivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashramas.
Practice of Shivananda quite different from the Ashtanga yoga, as it primarily focuses on relaxation and breathing techniques. Furthermore, it incorporates daily life of the students into training sessions. The training is mainly based on five rules – poses, breathing, relaxation, diet and meditation and positive thinking. Shivananda yoga is slow paced, thus allowing detailed examination of every practiced pose. A typical session starts with offerings to sun (Surya Namaskar) followed by twelve basic postures. Practicing sun salutations isn’t very difficult but perfection could take some prolonged period. Practicing regularly could bring an array of health benefits to the practitioners.
Following and practicing all twelve yoga postures in a right way should help achieve the health benefits that the yoga has to offer to the practitioners. However, it is important to continue practicing on a regular to achieve maximum health benefits. It is important to practice the poses the right way and regular practice could gradually bring further perfection.
Breathing technique forms an integral aspect of yoga practicing. In order to attain maximum benefits from the yoga session, it is important to accomplish complete yoga breathing and make usage of lungs to the extent of its full capacity. Shivananda yoga type uses a combination of breathing techniques in order to attain complete yogic breathing. The combination of breathing includes – Clavicular breathing, Thoracic breathing and deep abdominal breathing. The Calvicular breathing type involves most efforts in order to obtain minimum amounts of air, as it is shallow most breathing type. Thoracic breathing uses expansion of muscles in rib cage while deep abdominal breathing supplies air to the largest and lowermost lung parts. This breathing technique makes most usage of diaphragm and is a slow and deep.
Relaxation could be achieved on following all relaxation forms. Moreover, relaxation remains incomplete unless the practitioner conquers the spiritual relaxation.
The yoga practitioner needs to follow a diet and a yogic diet is a vegetarian diet. It’s great to go vegan as it includes natural, pure and simple foodstuffs that are easily absorbed and promote good health. Moreover, most are found to go the organic way as the organic foods offer additional nutritional value.
Meditation & Positive thinking:
Shivananda yoga promotes positive thinking and promotes practitioners to achieve a meditation level wherein they can concentrate completely on self. Usually, the practitioners are lead through a routine that is 14 point meditation.
Practicing Shivananda yoga, the practitioners are to gain mental, physical and spiritual wellness. Regular practice will gradually help the practitioners achieve perfection for all five fundaments of Shivananda yoga.
A typical class would start off with the basic relaxation postures, corpse poses followed by breath works like Anuloma Viloma and Kapalbhati. On completion of these breathing exercises, the students are guided to practice twelve poses of sun salutations series, Suryanamaskar. Again, a relaxation pose could be practiced between all sun salutation poses. The instructor may plan to make minor modifications to the pre set sequencing of Shivananda yoga. Additionally, the instructor could also choose to modify to match the difficulty levels too. A Shivananda yoga session would conclude with a relaxation pose too and a typical class should last for about 90 minutes.