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21-Day Yoga Immersion

balance

Program information

Strongly recommended

In addition to committing to the yoga practice as outlined above, I would strongly urge you to commit to the following for the duration of the program:

Daily Practice will include:

Benefits of the program

Besides the obvious benefits of a regular 21-day practice at the physical level (weight loss, flexibility, strength, endurance, balance etc.), I would like to emphasize benefits more at the mental, intellectual and even deeper levels. Patanjali, in chapter 2 defines 'kriya yoga' as a combination of 'tapas' (austerities), 'svadhayaya' (study of self and of scriptures), and 'Ishvara Pranidhana' (surrender to a higher principle). He further sates that by practicing 'kriya yoga', one can overcome all the 'kleshas' or afflictions (pain and suffering) of life. In the modern context the word 'klesha' can be equated with mental stress that we all face on a daily basis. Now, this is a pretty strong statement as all of us want to learn how to cope with stress in our lives. I plan to incorporate all these three components of 'kriya yoga' into our practice during the yoga immersion program.

Here are some of the benefits of attending the 21-day yoga program:

Background

Some time ago, I received an email asking me to join a 30-day yoga challenge program. I did a quick search on Google for something like "30-day yoga challenge" or just "yoga challenge", and I came across a large variety of yoga challenge programs being offered. Most of these programs entail making a commitment and then practicing at your own home using a video or a tape that the originator of the program offers you. Since I am myself a firm believer in establishing an on-going regular practice, I thought about offering my own version of a similar challenge program. In this program, instead of practicing on your own at home, you will be practicing with me in a group.

Why yoga immersion?

Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras defines yoga as "the ability to control the fluctuations of the mind" (sutra 1.2). In order to achieve that goal, Patanjali recommends 'abhyasa' (practice -  sutras 1.12 - 1.14) and 'vairagya' (detachment - sutras 1.15 - 1.16) as the two key ingredients of a personal endeavor. In order to establish a regular practice for any endeavor as defined by Patanjali, one needs to have a commitment and a strong will-power. To develop such a will-power Patanjali offers the five yamas (sutra 2.30) and five niyamas (sutra 2.32). However, I believe that one of the values that truly helps develop that self control and commitment is the niyama of 'tapas' (austerity - sutra 2.43). The word 'tapas' in Sanskrit means 'heat'. An example usually given is the use of intense heat to purify gold. In yoga 'tapas' usually refers to practices that make one strong physically and mentally. One who practices 'tapas' is known as a 'tapasvin'. A tapasvin can easily withstand the dualities of life like heat and cold, honor and dishonor etc.

The yoga immersion provides us an opportunity to practice 'tapas' as we are making a commitment to a regular practice.

Why 21 days?

Why 21, you may ask? Well, it is common wisdom (source unknown) that it takes a regular practice of 21 days to begin to realize the benefits of any practice. Further, it takes an additional 21 days before the practice gets embedded in your mind as a habit which you can then maintain for the rest of your life. In essence, this could truly be a LIFE TRANSFORMING  experience for you. Whether you are brand new to yoga or are a seasoned yoga practitioner, you will find this yoga challenge a truly rewarding experience.