Yoga Vidya

Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati received from his guru a mandate to take yoga “from door to door and shore to shore”. Before starting to teach yoga he travelled for nine years to assess the needs of society and to decide on the best way to disseminate the teachings of yoga. In 1963 he established the Bihar School of Yoga (BSY).

From 1964-1973Swami Satyananda Saraswatigave training to a first generation of yoga teachers covering all aspects of classical yoga. From 1973 the practices of yoga were tailored to meet the needs of modern aspirants. Yoga was seen as a way to improve the quality of the body, mind, emotions, and to learn how to meditate for inner, spiritual experiences.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati developed a systematic approach to yoga, categorizing physical asana practices along with their corresponding benefits and contra-indications. He created the pawanmuktasana series of asanas as a preparatory practice for all major asanas. He categorized the whole range of pranayama or breathing techniques – dynamic, tranquillizing and balancing – scientifically detailing the method and technique of each pranayama in progressive stages. He revived the classical raja yoga technique of pratyahara inantarmouna to deal with the activities of the conscious mind. Other popular meditation practices that he taught include the mantra repetition practice of ajapajapa and the concentration practice of trataka. He also developed yoga nidra from the ancient tantric system of nyasa as a systematic method for inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation during which the consciousness is functioning at a deeper level of awareness.

Over time people took to this system of yoga, and it became internationally known and recognized as Satyananda Yoga.The ancient science and lifestyle of yoga, discovered and developed by rishis and seers millennia ago, today is accepted by millions of people across the globe who want to attain health, harmony, and explore their inner potential. Swami Satyananda heralded this global acceptance of the yogic science in 1963, when he proclaimed: “Yoga will emerge as a mighty world culture and change the course of world events.”

Over the last fifty years of the modern yogic renaissance, Bihar School of Yoga has propagated yoga as a systematic and verifiable science, creating a solid foundation to maintain the classical, authentic and traditional aspects of yoga. In 2013, during the Golden Jubilee year of the Bihar School of Yoga it was announced that the first phase which focused on the propagation of relevant aspects of yoga was complete. From 2013 new dimensions and a deeper understanding of the classical yoga vidya are being explored. To imbibe the next phase of yogic understanding one needs to traverse the different dimensions of the traditional practice, and access progressively subtler areas of experience.The practices, principles and training in the classical yogavidya will be presented at the teachers’ symposium in Munger in October 2018