Q: What can I anticipate learning in yoga practice? M. Keegan – Shropshire
A: In the realm of yoga, the spectrum of exercises is vast and diverse. Some of these techniques remain concealed, known only to advanced Gurus and revealed to practitioners who have attained a higher state or self-realisation. Such revelations may manifest after years of dedicated practice or through a sudden awakening initiated by a mentor.
Nonetheless, there exist wellestablished classical practices that most serious yoga students and instructors are familiar with. Yoga is both a Science for inner exploration and an avenue for harmonising with the outer world. Different classical yoga styles address these facets. For example, Karma Yoga, emphasising selfless service, and Yoga, centred on self-awareness and self-dissolution, are just a couple of these paths.
In a typical yoga class, the fusion of techniques is not unusual. For instance, traditional body postures (asanas) can be enriched when intertwined with breath exercises (pranayama). Common yoga techniques include:
- Asanas (Body Postures)
- Pranayama (Breathing Techniques)
- Concentration and Awareness Practices
- Mudras (Sacred Hand Gestures)
- Mantras (Sacred Sound)
- Yantras and Mandalas (Pictorial representations of mantras and energy, often involving geometrical designs).
While not traditionally labeled as techniques, these aids to meditation become companions that foster shifts in one’s state of awareness through dedicated practice.