Karma Yoga is the yoga of action, learning to perform any task with dedication and accuracy, offering the results to God or the Universe, it is a very common way for yogis to quiet the mind in the West. Working in an ashram environment allows you the opportunity to mix in a high vibration with nature and with other yogis who are also concerned with developing a loving and open heart through attitude and work.
Staying at Red Hill house, you will live in the tranquil countryside and relax in a beautiful country house while working mindfully, cleansing the mind of unhelpful thought patterns and offering the results to the Universe. There are always opportunities for: gardening, decorating, DIY, teaching, cleaning, marketing, publicity or internet work.
If you feel you would like to come and help for a day or up to a year, just let us know. We can discuss the details on the phone.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
What Is Yoga?
Yoga Means Union
Although many people think this term refers to union between body and mind or body, mind and spirit, the traditional acceptance is union between the Jivatman and Paramatman that is between one’s individual consciousness and the Universal Consciousness.
Therefore Yoga refers to a certain state of consciousness as well as to methods that help one reach that goal or state of union with the divine.
The 5 Points of Yoga
There are hundreds or more of such techniques and therefore as many different Yogas. In order to simplify and clarify the topic, Swami Vishnu-devananda summarized the vast science of Yoga into 5 principles of Yoga which are easy to understand and to include in one’s daily life.
1. Proper Exercise – Try to vary the exercise, so you are building muscle, activating the heart but also increasing flexibility â€“ yoga postures do this perfectly
2. Proper breathing – Many of us, breathe in a shallow and anxious way. It is important to take the time each day to breathe properly, thereby calming the mind. The yogic term pranayama refers to different breathing techniques which help the individual to bring awareness to the breath.
3. Proper relaxation – It is easy to believe that watching a movie or doing our favorite activity is relaxing. However, more often than not, we are occupying our mind and activating ourselves, instead of shutting down and resting. Proper relaxation is referring to savasana, the posture we adopt at the end of a yoga session, where we consciously and deliberately relax each part of the body under supervision.
4. Proper diet – In this context, we refer to a vegetarian diet, as meat takes 2 hours to digest and ends up rotting and fermenting in the gut. Also there are moral issues with eating flesh. Tea, coffee, sugar and alcohol all stimulate or depress the mind and are therefore not helpful to the individual.
5. Positive thinking and meditation – To bring our awareness to the mind and the channels it is following, can be very helpful, in combating depression, anxiety and woryy. Often we find ourselves repeating mental patterns and damaging ourselves and our environment with these thought patterns. Through guidance and meditation, we find our minds shift and become more useful and positive in our lives.
The Four Paths of Yoga
The various Yogic practices have been traditionally classified into the four Margas (paths). These four paths are:
1. Jnana Yoga or Jnana Marga which is the Yoga of wisdom and develops the Intellect or will
2. Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of devotion, opens the heart
3. Karma Yoga, the path of action of selfless service.
4. Raja Yoga, the royal or psychological which involves the mind-
a branch of Raja Yoga which is Hatha Yoga which prepares the Yogi for the higher stages of Raja Yoga.
Sivananda Yoga, the Yoga of Synthesis
Swami Sivananda recognised that every Yogi, or human being for that matter, possesses and identifies with each of these elements: Intellect, heart, body and mind. He therefore advocated everyone to practice certain techniques from each path. This came to be known as the Yoga of Synthesis. He also taught that in accordance with individual temperament and taste one can emphasize the practice of certain Yogas over others.