ARKAYA YOGA COLLEGE, a gurukulam or shala
The vision of Arkaya Yoga College is to ENABLE practitioners to imbibe the ethos of authentic Yoga ( Includes Multidimentional Healing, Meditation and Mindfulness.) It also aims at helping one understandYoga's sister sciences from the vedic culture. This is for self Mastery, Self awareness and Self realisation to transform self as well societies to reach their highest potential.
Seeing andprocessing so called unhealthy emotions and understanding the message they bring and connecting with the bliss consciousness is an important part of the self awareness process.
Arkaya Yoga College partners with Yoga studios across the world to provide the traditional teachings that Yogacharini Maitreyi was steeped in. This is presented in a modern context devoid of dogma filled with love and grace.
CLASSICAL ARKAYA YOGA AND TRADITIONAL SATTVIC TANTRA
What is YOGA?
Yoga comes from the root word 'yuj' which means to yoke , bind or bring together. Essentially it is uniting the individual with the cosmic, jivathma (manifest consciousness) with paramathma (grander consciousness).
It is a beautiful union of body, emotions and mind with the divine, in its true essence and not when approached like exercise. It is a wholesome communion. The greatest ailment of modern times is disconnection. This creates separation, fear and DIS ease on many levels. So real yoga is about reconnecting to Self and the higher consciousness
What is ARKAYA YOGA
Arka means ight, healing and inspiration. Arkaya Means unto /in Light. This beautiful system systematised by Yogacharini Maitreyi sees the seamless blending of many streams of Yoga and practices like traditional sattvic thanthra to lead one to the experience the Self. This capacity to witness oneself yet not negate or suppress emotions but sublimate them is the beauty of this practice. If you are seeking a mindful, heart centred, playful and soulful practice to free yourself of old conditioned behaviour as well as move into new expansive paradigms, then this is yoga for you. It aligns ones different dimensions. It is gentle in the beginning and takes a step by step approach incorporating all the classical practices like jathi , kriya, asana, pranayama, sankalpa, mudhra manthra, kirtan and thanthra. More info given below
Give me the grace of beholding Your beauty
And the gift of being absorbed in your love
Grant me the tenderness to be embraced by your forgiveness
And the humility to surrender to your play of night and day.
- Yogacharini Maitreyi
What is Tanthra or Tantra?
Thanthra (real pronounciation) or tantra as it is pronounced in the west means seeing the weave , web or that life is interconnected. The principle works on re-balancing the masculine and feminine energies called Shiva (consciousness) and Shakthi (power) principles in the system. Thanthra recognizes that the spiritual and material are woven and one works on spiritualising the body rather than negating it.
Thanthra also comes from root words THANothi and THRAyathi. Thanothi means expand , broaden or stretch and thrayathi means to free or liberate. When one practices Tantra one is expanding ones perceptions and awareness beyond limited material paradigms to free or liberate oneself from mental constructs that trap oneself in limited ways of being that are unkind
THAN means body and THRA means tool. So in that sense Tantra is a set of tools and practices to spiritualise the body.
Unlike western tantra the real aim of Tantra is to not just to engage in the world but sublimate ones desires through that engagement. So the aim is not to get better orgasms as advertised in the west, but to have ones energy directed upwards, sublimating this need for constant stimulation into a dynamic stillness. One moves from titillation to building a foundation of trust though the opening of the chakras to build a stable human being.
Also in some Indian media tantrics are depicted as black magicians. This is also a deranged version and a true tantric is someone who seeks liberation through re-balancing his karmas and the karmas of others through tools like manthras and sometimes sacred rituals. These sound vibrations and incantations to the mother goddess that create a vibrational shift are sometimes dramatised and even misused in modern times.
Vama Marga Tantra - Here the principle that god resides in everything is seen where practitioners may be seen in graveyards and the gravest of praces to remind that everything is god. Some practioners eat anything again stating it not one eats but the consciousness with which one eats
Dakshina Marga Tantra - In the Dakshina marga Tantra a step by step process of purification is advocated to cultivate sattva or purity as well as rise above it. One engages in the world but with the intent that the engagement purifies them. The food and habits are refined, not obsessively but for allowing space for higher energies to embody one. Yogacharini Maitreyi comes from a Dakshina Marga Tanthric path of the Sidhars as well . Here through energy practices and yogic asanas done with the awareness of prana one refines the body to exude grace. Some practitioners also use herbs and sidha/ayurveda treatments to build the nervous system.
What is Vedantha?
Vedantha literally means the end of the Vedas
What is Saiva Sidhantha?
What is Ayurveda?
Ayush means life and Veda means science. So
What is ARKAYA YOGA?
Simply put ARKAYA YOGA is a very unique and mindful practice for detoxification and transformation. A must for everyone who wants to increase peace and harmony. It is integrative. Helps heal and synchronise with source.The focus is on alignment with different dimensions and Self awareness. Enables emotional healing and tools to tap into bliss consciousness.
1. Gentle in the beginning and focuses on a step by step approach. Awareness first and the achievement is a by product of this joyful awareness.
2. Extremely powerful to heal traumas and shift old unhealthy habits for the better.
3. Works on deep relaxation that allows the body to self correct , regenerate and heal
4. Allows one to work on correcting wrong posture and lifestyle issues.
5. Helps with emotional management
6. Mind management
7. Cosmic connections and broadening of perspectives
8. Move from physical, emotional and mental DIS ease to ease and Bliss
9. It builds not just IQ but Emotional quotient, Happiness quotient, Bliss quotient and Spiritual quotient. Thereby impacts all areas of your life
10. It rebalances the body, emotions and mind and helps synchronise with source.
11. It is meditation in motion and taps into the mystic.
12. It helps one create a Body of Light and enables lightness and ease in one’s life.
13. It is non-religious yet sees the spirit of divinity flowing through each religion and embraces that unifying spirit and aligns with the Divine
14. It empowers one to reach ones highest potential and expression of life.
Yogacharini Maitreyi has beautifully systematized and allowed into being what she has gleaned from life. Classical Arkaya Yoga is discovered and shared.
Classical Arkaya Yoga encompasses and sees the seamless blending of many classical yoga forms through the blossoming of the heart, opening of the mind and recognizing and dancing with spirit.
Arkaya (light, healer, inspiration) Yoga is a mindful, loving and a playful expression of life. It is gentle in the beginning yet powerfully transformational and deep.
What are the JYOTHI KRIYA ?
The Jyothi kriya in Arkaya yoga are a very unique set of source inspired practices that help raise one’s vibrations.
Jyothi = inner illumination Kriya = action for purification. Karma cleared through Kriya
It helps clear all the chakras (energy centres) and clear pranic (energy) pathways. It clears, re-balances and enhances the flow of energy through the chakras. It helps one tune into one’s inner illumination, recognizing that luminescence in oneself and others. In that space we are one. In some that light might be shrouded by many veils of negative conditioning and in others there are less veils that allow the light to shine brighter. This practice helps purify oneself and dissolve those veils. The jyothi kriyas also have many practical benefits like building healthier boundaries and creating protection from physical, emotional and psychic invasions.
The emphasis in Arkayayoga is on awareness, alignment and harmonising of body, emotions and mind with the universal/harmonious consciousness. This translates as more harmony in one’s life and resolution of conflict. It is a wholesome communion with the cosmic intelligence.
The techniques and awareness take us from one level or state of existence to more aware states of being. One needs to take responsibility for one’s life and stabilize in each state. Hence the emphasis is not just on ability but stability and stickability. This paves the way for transformation. We also learn to go with the flow yet not become drifters or stuck up.
Just as the earth is rotating and revolving and still gives us a stable ground, the practices though dynamic help us move towards that still, stable space within.
The practices focus on cleansing and purifying the system. The nervous system is soothed and strengthened. The approach helps one ground in common sense. The development of sixth sense is natural fallout of the practices. We constantly die to old patterns of behaviour and are reborn into newer, more refined and happier ways of being.
The poem below by Rumi symbolizes these thoughts:
“I died from minerality and became vegetable;
And From vegetativeness I died and became animal.
I died from animality and became man.
Then why fear disappearance through death?
Next time I shall die
Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels;
After that, soaring higher than angels -
What you cannot imagine,
I shall be”
The practice of body work, breath work , pranic work and meditative tools, is very exquisite and subtle in Arkaya yoga. It is for those who are or want to become connoisseurs of yoga.
The yoga class is a not an end in itself but a structure for life. It empowers one to reach one’s highest potential and expression of life.
Arkaya yoga looks into the system of Classical Ashtanga yoga (eight limbed path) as a structure and guideline for evolution.
Arkaya yoga allows us to accept ourselves and life in its myriad shades. It is classical yoga to harmonise modern living.
It is Living Dakshina Marga Tantra– The right hand path of union.
The focus in the classes is using the body, emotions and mind as an offering unto the universal potential of goodness. The principles of Sat (ultimate reality/truth) Chit (pure consciousness) and Anandam (bliss) are tuned into.
Sacred music , dance and art are an important aspect of Arkaya yoga and many of the workshops incorporate bajans/kirtan, drumming and theatre. Depending on the classes they are called BLISS-shops, FUNshops or PLAYshops.
More on ARKAYA YOGA
- Is Conscious, Mindful – Tuned in
- Is Loving – Heartfelt, connection to one’s higher self and the divine in others
- Is Grounded- This means building a strong base and root centre and recognizing and shifting de-stabilising factors
- Is Playful – sincere not serious. Light hearted approach
- Is Meditation in motion
- Is Listening to the inner intelligence and aligning and harmonising body, emotions and mind
- Is Relaxing – step by step approach and gentle in the beginning. Stability first, speed next.
- Rebalances and Integrates, body emotions and mind with the universal consciousness.
- Detoxifies and purifies the body, emotions and mind
- Consciously slows down and speeds things up in the system to synchronise with source
- Taps in the Mystic or the field of oneness and sees that true spirituality is seeing the mystic in the mundane. Yet building discernment and cultivating healthy boundaries.
- Creates a body of light and helps one become lighter.
Arkaya Yoga has its roots in the Classical Yoga Life and Systems
- Bakthi Yoga – Yoga of devotion to the divine
- Gyana Yoga – Yoga of wisdom. Clarifying and purifying the thought process
- Karma Yoga – Yoga through selfless service
- Raja Yoga – Royal route to liberation ( also called ashtanga yoga)
- Ashtanga Yoga – The eight limbed yoga
- Hata Yoga – Building a strong balanced foundation. Forcing the mind to withdraw from the external by using postures. Balancing the sun and moon energies.
- Tanthra, Manthra and Yanthra Yoga – Tools for the tangible, the mind and sacred geometry
Through conscious body and energetic work one can create new neural pathways and through mindful sound and breath work one can remove pranic (energy) blocks in the physical body. There is a realignment with holistic well-being. There is a large tool kit available in the yogic repertoire and through structured learning as well as intuitive work one can learn the correct application of these tools.
Arkaya Yoga tools include
- Body work or rather Body play
- Emotional awareness, release and refinement
- Breath awareness practices
- Pranic (energy) work and pranayama
- Mind awareness and shifts
- Sound and sensory play
- Light work – Super light, inner light work
The following Classical practices are an inherent apart from various other tools that help us enjoy and stabilize our body, emotions and mind and then transcend it.
- Yama, Niyama – Conscious boundary setting
- Jathi -conscious rhythmic movement to build awareness
- Kriya -powering movement with energy to purify
- Asana- art of being and body language,
- Pranayama -conscious expansion of energy
- Mudhra – mystic seal/mood modifiers
- Vinyasa - Specific series of movements that are strung together by breath
- Sankalpa - intent aligned with the highest
- Mantra- tool to stabilize the mind, sound vibrations that heal and re-balance
- Bhajans – Singing source vibrations
- Dharana – Concentration
- Preparation for Dhyana – Meditation or mystic absorption
Arkaya Yoga looks at and embraces the love and symbology in religions rather than getting stuck to the letter.
Arkaya Yoga facilitates the dance of Shiva and shakthi in ones system. Shiva symbolises consciousness, goodness and auspiciousness and shakthi symbolises power.
It facilitates the dance of the holy or wholesome spirit in us. It draws on the graciousness and mercy inherent in islam and embraces the love that connects all humanity.
As Swami Gitananada said Real Yoga will help a Christian become a better Christian, a mother a better mother, a manager and better manager and a Muslim a better Muslim.
Arkaya Yoga invokes the light as well as evokes it from within
How can I not be moved by listening to your name
How can my heart not dance to your presence
A devotee’s call, in any Langauge or religion evokes the same
- Yogacharini Maitreyi
There are many benefits to Classical Arkaya Yoga. The physical, emotional and mental fields are addressed. One sees a broader perspective to life. The practice helps build both love and discernment. One sees the divine work through many forms and not confined to a particular religion.
(As written by Yogacharini Maitreyi)
I have been inspired by life, nature and the beauty each breath holds.
My grandfather was my first physical guru.
He mentioned that I follow my heart in alignment with the divine. His voice still keeps ringing in my ears. He said:
” I want you to walk in this world only in two ways. One is you must walk like you don’t care who owns the world (those with power , money or so called intellectual/spiritual or any form of authority or false promises should never be able to intimidate, veer or buy you) and the other is , you walk like you own the world ( that means you care for all around you and you take responsibility for what needs to be shifted for the better).”
I know if I walk like that each day my journey is supported…
Life has given me a lot of psychic prosperity and grateful for that. Grateful for the infinite grace that fills my life.
As a child I was inspired by many beings as I slept and was guided in my sleep. I still have vivid memories of being out of my body. I knew so clearly that I was spirit. Just like no one questions having two hands. For me the subtler aspects of life, prana and spirit were as real as the tangible.
I was drawn to becoming a Reiki grandmaster and that only reaffirmed what I already knew deep within
My grandfather always wanted me to study in a gurukulam, though my parents preferred a convent education in keeping with the times, when I was growing up, where the nuns were known to be good disciplinarians as well as good English teachers. I was blessed to do my formal teacher training both at the shivananda and the ananda ashram in my early twenties
He also wanted me to integrate in the world and I saw the pull of the creative arts. Though that reality was different I still had eclectic professors in university who made me speak to the trees. My grandfather’s spirit was speaking even through those courses as I remembered him introducing me to books like “The Secret life of Plants” where he made me see that plants could feel and communicate. He introduced me to many scientific principles like morphogenic fields that paralleled spiritual truths.
My grandfather, R Krishnamurthy was a great blessing in my life. My pranams to him as he inspired me in many ways towards “simple living and high thinking” as he was an example of that. He helped me be human and humane, helping me realise I can rise above circumstances.
I have studied the Rishi Culture Ashtanga Yoga of Swami Gitananda for many years. This paramparya has nourished my body and spirit. It is connected to the lineage of Rishi Brigu through Swamiji. My gratitude to Swamiji and Amma, Meenakshi Devi for the teachings.
The Shivananda school of thought also inspired me to keep the purity of classical yoga.
Heartfelt gratitude to my parents who have taught me a lot about life and Love and gratitude to friends who are students and students who have become friends. Through their endeavour to be a better them they have inspired me.
My love and gratitude to all the universal beings who have lit the pathless path.
My deepest inspiration and teachings come from the Hiranyagarba or the golden womb. May we always be connected to the Golden womb or the Source Energy. May the joy of BEING reflect in us. May the light shine through us.