That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being – I am that. (Amritbindu Upanishad)
Yoga (Sanskrit, योग, union)
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated and developed in ancient India around the fifth century BCE. The Yogi Philosophy may be divided into several great branches, or fields. Each branch of Yoga is but a path leading toward the one end—the unfoldment, development, growth, and finally union.
What is known as Hatha Yoga deals with the physical Body and its control; its health; its preservation; its laws, and so on. The word hatha literally means “effort” or “force”. This is important reminder that that “hatha yoga” refers to an approach to Yoga which begins with physical effort and serves as a reminder that we will need to apply effort if we hope to advance in our practices.
What is known as Raja Yoga deals with the Mind; it’s control; its development; its un-foldment. What is known as Bhakti Yoga deals with the Love of the Absolute (God). What is known as Jnana Yoga deals with the scientific and intellectual knowing of the great questions regarding Life and what lies back of Life, and the Riddle of the Universe. What is known as Karma Yoga deals with achieving perfection though selfless actions; the practice of selfless service to humanity without hoping for merit, fame or glory.
As a Yoga student you often allay yourself with several of these paths to gain a rounded knowledge, and acquaint yourself with the principles of the several branches, learning something of each, and giving preference to those branches that appeal to you more strongly. This attraction is often the indication of a need unique for you, or requirement for your spiritual development, and therefore, this is being the hand pointing out the path. For me, understanding and practicing Hatha, Jnana and Raja Yoga has been life changing.
I started my path by practicing Hatha Yoga in 2012. First I regularly attained Yoga classes at Keyles Yoga Center close to where I live. Step-by-step, the regular practice allowed my body to purify, get stronger and stay healthy. In a way, I was preparing myself in order to become a more fitting instrument to understand and befriend the unknown “Higher Self” inside of me. After a few years of personal practice, I decided to take it a step further and deepen my practice and dedication to Yoga, and follow the teachings of Soma, a wonderful teacher who runs Witryh Yoga school, kind of an ashram, located in a remote mountain region in Navarra in Spain. Soma has developed an integral yoga discipline, which he calls the “Essene Yoga”. This is a kind of yoga that is propelled and protected by the Essene (Esenio) philosophy that is born under the auspices and teachings of the three great guiding teachers of humanity: Krishna, Buddha and Jesus (Jhasua). Krishna was the master of justice, protection and peace. Buddha brought us wisdom, compassion and renunciation. Jesus (Jhasua) taught us love in all its aspects as the essential ingredient for the health of the soul. Yoga Esenio collects and assumes the yogic methodology of Krishna, the attitudes of Buddha and the loving realization of Jhasua.
Witryh Yoga School, Navarra, Spain – July 2015.
Our Yoga discipline, we practice Hatha Yoga, pranayama, various energy mobilizations, meditation, mantras, shatkarmas, different body and soul therapies such as vichara-yoga, Nidra Yoga and Kriya Yoga. We also focus on the three main yoga practices which Krishna transmitted through the Bhagavad Gita : Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga.
Yoga Esenio is a modern, creative, dynamic, active, vital yoga. In the summer, all students/disciples participate in a 10-day long retreat to immerse ourselves in the practice. We camp at the ashram, follow a strict vegan diet and and experience the intensity and discipline of the practice. It is an incredible experience and something of a “soul spa” that is very restorative and regenerative in all aspects. In the photo to the right below you see the ashram, during sunset.
To reach the level of Yoga Teacher, we have to complete a 2-year training. During that period we learn the foundations of all the branches of Yoga (Hatha, Raja, Jnana, Bhakti, Karma) as well as studying the Bhagavad Gita, Sutras de Patanjali, Human Anatomy, Pranayamas (breathing techniques), Sadhana (how to apply your mind and intelligence in practice towards a spiritual goal)…we also play games, dance, and much more! In photo above, during an excursion to a river close by, at the shore of the river we jointly created a mandala of small paper pieces.
I also took the Reiki I initiation course. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that the unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”After completing the course, we organised a ceremony, you can see the photo here below. It was really beautiful. Our “maestros” (teachers) placed us, one-by-one in the circle, and we received the initiations.
Give up all questions except one: ‘Who am I?’ After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are.
The ‘I am’ is certain.
The ‘I am this’ is not.
Struggle to find out what you are in reality. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not — body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that — nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you.
The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. The clearer you understand on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realise that you are the limitless being.
– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj