Satyananda Yoga and Meditation
Satyananda Yoga and Meditation is Classical Tantric Yoga in the Tradition of Swami Satyanada Siraswati, who was the inheritor of the vast tantric tradition from his teacher Sivananda. It is a tradition, rich in methods: including the physical yoga asanas, breathing exercises or pranayama, as well as mudras and bandas, techniques which activate one’s energy centres, meditations which move energy around the body, and meditations to observe the activity of the mind. However Satyanada was also a breaker of tradition, he was the first to teach Tantric Kriya Yoga to the ordinary public, that which had previously been only for Swamis, and he was an influential figure in bringing yoga to the west. His impact has been profound, his books are classic yoga textbooks, and daughter schools of the tradition, are scattered all over the world, in India it is known as Bihar School of Yoga, and in the west it is more commonly called Satyananda Yoga.
Thomas has been practising the classical tantric methods of the Satyananda tradition with discipline and devotion, every day, for ten years. Methods like Source of Energy, Ajapa Japa, or Inner Silence, which have had a profound, and utterly transformative impact upon his life. At a certain point he decided that he also wanted to transmit the methods to others, and claimed the honour of doing so. In the Monday morning class he teaches Antar Mauna (Inner Silence) and Source of Energy.
Antar Mauna, Inner Silence
Antar Mauna, Inner Silence, is a Meditation which involves observing the Mind. Satyananda once said, Tantra gives you the power to witness the activity of the mind. That is a mighty power. There are various stages and variations of the meditation, however usually it begins with all around awareness of the sound and/ or sense landscape, followed by awareness of the spontaneous activity of the mind, in the third stage a question, or a theme can be given to the mind, while you, as the witnessing consciousness, observe the mind at work, solving the problem you have presented it, on its own. This practice trains you to be exceptionally creative, and is remarkably useful for creative work or any kind of problem solving. It is a great method for releasing mental tensions, and confronting psychic problems, fundamental fears, etc. There are other stages, involving for example the Chidakash Dharana, but you’ll have to come by on Monday, to find out what they are.
‘In my work as a writer, this meditation is an indispensable tool, allowing me to connect with my intuition, to get out of my own way, (what does that mean?) and to create from that higher self. When I have a decision to make in my life, I do Antar Mauna, and in this third stage, I get the intuitive answer I am looking for and the direction of the path I should take. No other method has allowed me to accept myself as I am, or accept the mind, as it is, without evaluation or judgement, than Antar Mauna. The potential of the method is vast, and I am inspired to share it with others.’
The Source of Energy
The Source of Energy, is a Breath-Energy Meditation, and uses the Psychic Breath, Ujjayi Pranayama, and the tongue lock Khechari Mudra, visualizing the breath-energy, up and down the spinal passage, through the so called Chakras, energy centres located in different junctions of the spinal cord. Awareness becomes one pointed, and this has a profound effect on one’s concentration, whatever you do with the energy in the hours after this meditation, you will do so with absolute concentration and one pointed awareness. The Source of Energy also known as the Little Kriya Yoga, is the first stage of learning Kriya Yoga, Ajapa Japa, being the Intermediate Stage, and Kriya Yoga itself being the final stage.
‘For me personally the impact of this meditation, is an increase in my energy, I become more spontaneous, make clearer decisions faster, I act without over-thinking my action, if there is a list of things to do, rather than procrastinating, after energy meditations like Source of Energy or Ajapa Japa, I just sit down, and do everything on the list. The meditation has a great impact on my creativity as a writer, and now I would never dream of sitting down to write, without having done it, as the quality of what I create is infinitely better, the inspiration is clearer, and the experience of creating, is of greater presence and bliss.’
Mondays at 8.00
Practising Antar Mauna in the morning, has a wonderful clearing effect, as the unconscious processes of dreaming have already removed many mental tensions, therefore one can do some real inner work when one practises inner silence in the morning. The Source of Energy likewise fills one with energy, before one starts one’s day with increased inspiration, presence and bliss. The class is a hybrid class, and is offered in both face to face, and online format, simultaneously.
Yoga Nidra is a deep meditation practise, involving rotation of awareness (Nyasa), around the body, and energy centres, as well as visualization and guided journeys. It has a profound relaxation effect on the body, as well as training one’s awareness of the chakras, thus activating one’s energy, and raising one’s vibration. Satyananda was the first one to bring Yoga Nidra to the west, putting it into English for the first time, what had previously been only in Sanskrit. The crafting of Yoga Nidras is as much an artistic process, and requires a literary craftsmen, as much as it does, someone familiar with the ancient methods, one must be a poet to speak the words with the devotion they deserve. Developing one’s visualization is one of the keys to the deeper yoga, and to manifesting one’s destiny. San Kalpas, that is resolutions, which are planted in the unconscious, at the start and at the end of Yoga Nidra, when practised regularly, with assiduous discipline, bear fruit and manifest in the that individual’s life. It is a great way of changing and strengthening one’s patterns of belief, or of dissolving limiting beliefs.