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Gitananda Yoga, which was also popularly known as Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga, was founded and spread by Yogamaharishi Swami Gitananda. He was originally a medical doctor, but was also eventually known as the Father of Modern Scientific Practice. His background allowed him to combine scientific practices with ancient techniques of yoga to create his own style. These teachings include a combination of the following: •Asanas (Body Posture) •Pranayamas (Breathing) •Mudras (Gestures) •Kriyas(Controlled Movement of the Body and Mind) Unlike what most people think, yoga is not a type of exercise. While many schools do incorporate exercise, Gitananda Yoga aims to help students understand the true meaning of yoga by going beyond exercise, but also delving in specific teaches and practices. This is done with the help of some core concepts: Yoga, A Way of Life. Instead of something that you do on a regular basis, yoga is actually a way of life. To achieve this, one must be dedicated enough to do plenty of introspection, allowing themselves to be aware and conscious of life. Creating Gurus Instead of Followers. Yoga was designed to create gurus. Instead of having hundreds of thousands of practitioners, Swami was more interested in bringing out the best in each practitioner, allowing the person to live incorporate yoga in his life, creating a guru out of him. The Importance of Breathing. Breath is life, which is why pranayama is a core concept in Gitananda Yoga. This is because breath carries and fills each cell of body with life and light. In fact, it is so important that there are actually 120 intricate breathing exercises incorporated in the teachings. The breathing exercises start with Vibhagha or alternate breathing, and will eventually build up to the others. No Quick Fixes. Gitananda Yoga is not a quick fix, which means that there is no other option but to understand the foundations before moving forward. Systematic and Methodical. While learning to implement yoga as a way of life takes time and effort, the teachings of Gitananda yoga are designed to help every individual achieve just that. Methodical and systematic, it is designed in a way that it is easy to follow. There is great emphasis on learning and mastering the steps before proceeding to more complicated ones. Gitananda yoga is slow and steady, promoting growth with practice. Because emphasis is placed in growing and learning with practice, there is no need to use prop. Learning and Loving Indian Culture. Most types of yoga which are popular in the West are stripped of their Indian roots and influence making it more like a type of exercise than a lifestyle. Understanding the Indian (Hindu) culture provides full meaning and answers to questions posed by sincere learners and seekers. Incorporating Many Yoga Practices. Gitananda yoga incorporates numerous asanas and practices which are rooted from other types of yoga such as Hatha, Laya, Jnana and the like. Divine Communication With Mudras. Mudras, or gestures, are also important aspects in the practice of Gitananda Yoga. This ancient science and art seals Pranic energies within the body that promote mood and emotion, improve muscle and nerve coordination and rest the mind. Indeed, Gitananda yoga goes beyond the typical “exercise” that most people see yoga as. It is a way of life, which can only be achieved by harnessing your full potential through constant practice and dedication
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