What is Yoga Sāmkhya 

Yoga dates back over 9,000 years with recent studies and findings pointing that it may actually be well over 12,000 years old.

It is understood that Yoga originated in northern India, in the Indus Valley civilization that flourished in the basins of the Indus River around 3,000 BCE.

 

Together with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley civilization was one of the three early civilizations of the Near East and South Asia and by far the most widespread, covering parts of present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. 

 

Mohenjo - Daro and Harappa were the two biggest cities, home to around 30,000 to 60,000 people, and recognised for their advanced urban planning and elaborate drainage and water supply systems

A map of India - where Yoga is from

Back then, Yoga and Sāmkhya were one, where Yoga was the practice and Sāmkhya the theory. 

 

Thanks to Sāmkhya, scholars studied the body, the mind and the self come together in harmony with nature and the universe and applied all these teachings to yoga - a practice that transforms and develops the human being, designed to bring out the very best that’s within us and awake our own true nature.

 

As time went on and Yoga became mainstream, this connection between Yoga and Sāmkhya has been lost and so has a part of Yoga's true power - the understanding of the human being as a part of the Whole. 

At Yogaful Studio we strive to bring this back, by going back to the traditional texts and studying Yoga when the Yoga was Sāmkhya.

 

So Yoga Sāmkhya is the authentic yoga comprising 14 disciplines per class - a wonderful mixture of techniques ranging from breath work, poses, meditation, and many more to help you...

 

...find balance and focus

...find peace and stillness

...elevate your body and mind

...access higher levels of consciousness and blissful meditative states & ultimately connect with your true self - aligned, healthy and peaceful.

Yogi sitting with the legs crossed, doing breathwork

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Yoga

Yoga is a powerful practice based on the Sámkhya philosophy that promotes exceptional health and happiness; the word ‘yoga’ derives from the root term ‘yuj’ (read ‘yudj’) and should be read yoga, (as in the word ‘yoke’); its literal meaning is ‘to join’ (or ‘to bind’).

The purposes of Yoga

Yoga Sámkhya proposes two main goals:

 1 To develop the Human Being exceptionally in all their positive qualities – always in harmony, maintaining a natural state of health and happiness; solidly based on an attitude of self-discipline, anti-deformed ego and fraternalism; observing that the great Path (Mahá Márga) remains always in tune with the great End, which is to…

2 Attain the Nirbíja Samádhi state (Enlightenment) – Human-Cosmic Intellective Supreme Consciousness (from the Keivalya Mukta – the liberated).

Sāmkhya

Sāmkhya is the Cosmic Wisdom, Yoga’s mother cosmogenic and anthropogenic philosophy – encompassing the theory behind the practice, it is the key to understanding and practicing yoga; literarily it means ‘reason’ or ‘number’.

The 14 Disciplines of Yoga

A complete Yoga Sámkhya class is called Mahá Sadhaná and is made of different parts (anga) to include the following 14 main disciplines*:

  1. Samyama (Dhyána / Samádhi) – Meditation / until Enlightenment, through the control of the brain waves frequency;

  2. Pránáyáma – Breathing exercises that influence our energetic and autonomic nervous systems;

  3. Ásana – Physical poses with psychological and biological effects;

  4. Yoganidrá – Techniques for physical, emotional and mental relaxation;

  5. Kriyá – Exercises for organic cleansing and toning;

  6. Mantra – Control of sound, vibration, and harmony;

  7. Jápa Tala – Rhythmic and focusing sounds;

  8. Jápa Shesha – Continuous and elevating sounds;

  9. Bandha – Techniques for muscular and neuro-endocrinal dynamisations (locks);

  10. Yantra – Focusing symbols with psychosomatic effects;

  11. Pújá – Offering and projection of energy (expression and development of gratitude);

  12. Mudrá – Reflexive and energetic hand gestures;

  13. Nyása – Energetic touch and mind projection;

  14. Mánasika – Mentalisation /visualisation, strengthening of willpower, and mental projection.

The above main disciplines are arranged in a yoga class in such a way that you come to the end of the session feeling relaxed and energised.

Each yoga class is uniquely prepared in order to meet the needs of each individual in the class. Each exercise is taught with different levels of difficulty, guaranteeing that yoga practitioners of all levels can attend the same class – from the beginners to the most experienced.

*Adapted from the Special Advanced Superior Training Course (SCAY) – of the Yoga  Sámkhya Institute, and the Portuguese Yoga Confederation, under orientation and supervision of H.H. Sat Guru Amrta Súryánanda Mahá Rája – International Yoga Grand Master