As our course develops over the weeks of each year, rather than just offering a drop in weekly practice, here are some of the highlights presented over the year.
In the first year of the course, you will gain a good grounding in various aspects of traditional Yoga.
Asana means physical pose. You will learn 30 asana in the first year, which will be the core of your practice. Each one will be taught with detailed instructions on correct technique, safe practice and common errors to avoid. However that's just a framework for the real practice which is a specific mental focus and awareness. Practising each pose for longer and mostly with your eyes closed, it becomes a meditation.
In this way the benefits are amplified at the physical level, but also emotionally and mentally. You can gradually improve your vitality, self-confidence, charisma, empathy, intuition, focus and aspiration. Most likely you already believe that correct physical exercise will improve physical health, so correspondingly, it should be no surprise that correct mental exercise will improve the mind and emotions.
Laya Yoga Meditation
Learn a specific highly-beneficial meditation technique based on a secret seed mantra. You will learn how to utter a simple sound internally then focus to perceive the effects. Many people find this leads to a deep, focused meditation that leaves you calm and energised.
In the modern world where we are often juggling many problems at once, people tend to lose the ability to focus on one single object. Without focus, meditation is weak, so we will teach you specific techniques to practice to improve your concentration and focus.
Learn how to improve your daily routine for optimal health. Start your day with simple Kriyas which are purification techniques for the eyes, nose and mouth. Learn what foods to prefer and how to schedule your day.
The Power of the Mind and Law of Resonance
Whether you believe you will succeed or believe you will fail, either way you will probably be right
Modern science has confirmed the astonishing power of the mind with research on the Placebo effect. Rigorous research has shown that many people get better when given a sugar-pill that they believed was medicine.
If you are filled with feelings of aggression when you meet someone you are more likely to encounter aggression whereas if you come full of love and peace you will influence the people you meet accordingly.
The course will teach you how to cultivate a beneficial mind state to influence and attract beneficial states.
This is known as the Law of Resonance, in Yogi tradition, and it will be presented gradually and in great detail over the course.
Ethics and Principles
Ancient Yoga texts describe five Yamas and five Niyamas, sometimes referred to as the ten commandments of Yoga. It would be more accurate to think of them as principles for harmonious living relating to others and our own inner states.
You will learn these principles not as dry philosophy but as practical tools to apply in daily life. Each one is taught including the subtle nuances. For example, asteya meaning non-stealing includes not even to desire other people's possessions and not to take credit for someone's idea.
The ancient Yoga texts teach that we have a subtle energetic body. There are seven key centres known as Chakras, each corresponding in the physical body to a major branching point in the nervous system. This may seem far fetched, but science confirms that living beings do at least have an electromagnetic field.
There is no need to take our word for it as you can experience this for yourself. If you have an open mind and focus perseveringly then you will gradually learn to perceive energetic effects as warmth or tingling sensations during the practice of the Asana. It's not just a pleasant 'buzz'; the cumulative effects of daily practice will lead to profound emotional, mental and energetic benefits.
While most people live their life only being predominantly aware of what happens on the first three layers of the being, out of the five known in the yogi tradition, one is specifically named the body of bliss, of beatitude.
If we take this into consideration, it is easy to realize that in reality we are meant to live this life in a blissful state, where everything we do can be done with a joyful heart. The esoteric yoga course we teach at Soma Yoga Scotland aims to help you discover just how to bring and make this joy a constant of your heart.