Integral yoga follows the teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda, who came to the United States from India in the 1960s and eventually founded the famed Yogaville Ashram in Buckingham, Virginia and many other yoga institutes. Integral is a gentle, Hatha practice and classes often also include breathing exercises, chanting, kriyas, and meditation.
The Integral method, so called because it seeks to integrate the mind, body, and spirit, is intended to give students the tools they need to live peaceful, healthy, joyful, useful lives. Indeed, Satchidanada’s teachings go beyond the physical practice of yoga postures: He sought to inspire students to find fulfillment in themselves and promote a peaceful existence with others.
Sachidananda is also the author of many books. His translations and interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali make these arcane texts comprehensible to contemporary readers and applicable to modern life.
Integral Yoga Areas of Instruction
The practice of yoga postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama), cleansing practices (kriyas) and deep relaxation to strengthen and purify the body.
The practice of meditation to balance and control the mind.
Devotion, manifested through constant love, to a God, the divine, or a spiritual teacher.
Selfless service, free from attachment to the idea of the results of these actions.
The intellectual approach, by which a transcendence of the body and mind is achieved through study, self-analysis, and awareness.
Repetition of a mantra, a sound vibration with an aspect of the divine.
Is Integral for You?
Integral yoga appeals to those who want an approach that addresses their whole life, including physical, spiritual, intellectual, and interpersonal relationships. Classes tend to be gentle, accessible, and particularly non-competitive and the teachers are usually extremely knowledgeable. Find out more information at Integral Yoga Institute of New York and Sri Swami Satchidananda.