The ancient system of yoga is a complete system designed to reawaken a person to their spiritual nature and eternal relationship of loving unity with the Supreme. The yoga asana postures are actually only one step in the eight-fold Ashtanga yoga process and are meant to keep the body in optimum physical condition so that a person can then engage in higher pursuits with a minimum amount of hindrance from the body.
According to the ancient yoga scriptures (the Vedas) the most direct path to achieving the goal of yoga is to follow the path of Bhakti – the cultivation of a devotional relationship with the Supreme. In fact, all yoga paths lead to Bhakti. This is also confirmed by the renowned B.K.S. Iyenger who says: “It is this combination only that leads the yogī toward the highest state in bhakti-marga—the śaraṇāgati-mārga--total dependence on Īśvara, God. This is how I understand and practice the aṣṭāṅga-yoga of sage Patañjali.” AND “Bhakti is the summum bonum of Pātañjala Yoga.”
The kirtan meditation that we recently practiced at the Kauai retreat is actually a bona fide process of yoga that is recommended throughout the yoga scriptures and also by very prominent and highly respected yogis throughout the history of yoga. It is the most recommended yogic process for this current age.
The mantras that we chanted are also directly taken from the ancient and authoritative yogic scriptures and do not belong to any one group. In the U.S., people often mistakenly associate some of these mantras with a modern organization that has been nicknamed by the public as the “Hare Krishnas.” However, the Maha Mantra has been chanted in Asia for thousands of years - long before the “Hare Krishnas” showed up on the streets of America. The Maha Mantra does not belong to any one organization and the people who regularly chant the Maha Mantra do not belong to any one organization or necessarily follow any particular path of yoga. It is the one of the most common mantras used throughout the world.
Part of our goal in holding kirtan yoga retreats on Kauai is to clear up many of the misconceptions regarding yoga that are so prevalent in our society. Yoga is so much more than physical exercise – it is an ancient path of self-realization that has the potential to help any sincere person to find deep happiness, purpose, and fulfillment in their lives. So that you have the opportunity to benefit more fully from the spiritual wisdom classes on yoga that explain much of this in better detail, we invite you to join us at our next kirtan yoga retreat located on the beautiful island of Kauai.
If you have any questions regarding the system of yoga and its application in modern times, we would be happy to provide you with more information.
Radha and Gopal
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