A decade of work on making traditional yoga accessible to modern man, has led us to develop the Yogarambha method. We aim at changing the way we move and approach the beautiful subject of yoga as an art that can help evolve the human psyche not just another form of exercise. When we move beyond the body, its restrictions and limitations, we experience true freedom; a sense of calm or Samatvam where the dualities of life end and we find a sense of softness in existence. A mind that is subtle can truly appreciate the joy in living and be at a state of ahimsa both with himself and his surroundings.
With Yogarambha, the process of yoga truly begins.
The Yogarambha Method
Yogarambha was developed by our team, at Yogdham, Rohtak under the guidance of our lead teacher Veer, who saw the discrepancy between the traditional yoga approach and the modern lifestyle.
Human body is made for continuous activity. As our lifestyle coerced us to sit more and move less, the traditional yoga postures became rather inaccessible. We at Yogarambha took to a rather simple approach to the problem. With intelligent amalgamation of modern movement techniques with ancient yogic principles, our method is an attempt to bridge this rapidly widening gap.
Over the years we have experimented with our approach, using our own bodies as petri dishes to reframe and polish this technique to bring you a unique style which can be safely practiced and modified to suit everyone.
While developing this method, our primary focus was very multilateral. At our home base research centre and Yogashala of ‘Yogdham Rohtak’ we experimented with several techniques to find the unique blend that would be both effective, efficient and least in energy consumption.
Our students come from all walks of life. We have judiciary judges, school students, teachers, homemakers, doctors, white collared professionals and almost all other facets of life. We saw that a few things were common for each one of them.
All of them needed to move. And each one of them needed to do so in a safe, easy environment which not only didn’t disturb or upturn their already stressful schedule but also provided a fun community vibe that inspired them to keep practicing despite their busy schedules.
Taking these factors into consideration, after years of researching and teaching students from all over the world, the Yogarambha method was developed. And to this day it is still alive, and evolving as our practice and body is evolving.
The Yogarambha method stands primarily on five pillars: selfcare, strength, survival, sustainability and spirituality.
Why the Yogarambha Method?
TRADITIONAL YOGA FOR MODERN BODY
As human societies changed, the nature of activities evolved, it became essential for us to change our physical practices to adapt to the changing winds. Even just 200 years ago, the average person woke up early in morning, walked a fair distance whether it was to fetch water from a nearby river or to work in his fields, squatted regularly, pushed – pulled heavy objects and carried heavy objects often over large distances. The ancient man lived in a small world without overloading his senses with what is happening in the world outside of his community / village. He did not stress about deadlines or important emails at work while having a meal with his family. He lived in a relatively comfortable bubble with high physical stress level and comparatively low mental stress. It was for this active man that the art of ‘yoga’ was created. The ancient man didn’t create yoga to cure his knee pain or to reduce his fat percentage. Yoga developed as a powerful tool to help the man evolve; expand his consciousness and find a sense of oneness with the cosmos.
But the times have changed. The modern man doesn’t live a life that his predecessor lived. Not even by a remote margin. It is time for us to evolve our physical practice to suit this new body and mind. Trying to change yoga to suit our current needs by making it tougher and tougher, or by combining it with kriyas takes away the very essence of the practice. Recognising this gap between the yoga practiced in ancient times and what we need today, we at Yogarambha have come up with an unequalled program. This program not only bridges the gap left behind by drastic reduction in physical and cognitive health left behind by urbanisation, but also helps bring back the true essence of kriyas and yoga without tainting it.
The 5 Pillars of Yogarambha
The first pillar, self-care forms the base structure of our program. In the hustle bustle of a city lights, we as humans have lost our ability to move correctly. We have lost our patterns that inherently made us human. With hours spent in front of the computer as our body deteriorates more and more, it becomes necessary to compensate for this lack of movement with right and effective techniques to maintain health and vitality.
In the Yogarambha method, we use the Vinyasa Yoga method and massage / myofascial techniques to achieve balance in all aspects of life.
Vinyasa means movement done within the parameters of breath or in other words breath priority movement. As the definition suggests, vinyasa yoga consists of a sequence of kriyas or asanas called as ‘kramas’ done in accordance with correct breathing to channelize the flow of prana or subtle energy in the body. Vinyasa yoga energizes the whole body, healing it from the inside out.
Our Bodywork technique derived from the ancient Indian Akhara system and Thai yoga massage and Toksen, aids this transformation.
• Creates body awareness. Where the awareness flows, so does energy/prana
• Ancient powerful ujjayi breath increases oxygen absorption and lung capacity
• Gently conditions the body for tougher movement and breath pattern required for Kasrat or strength building
• Helps break the lethargy and brain fog that sets in after a period of inactivity
• Switches on the parasympathetic nervous system thus kickstarting healing
• Massage techniques helps relieve chronic pain and aches especially when done in tandem with yoga.
• Eradicates bad posture and alignment
Technology has rendered us virtually incapable of doing even the basics of tasks such as pushing, pulling, lifting heavy objects etc. while modern exercise systems help build big muscles, they often fail to focus on integrated and functional movement.
At our research centre, we have a modern Akhara system. Our teachers have studied with some of the oldest experts of the Kasrat and Vyayama system of ancient strength building in Varanasi and Haryana, developing an effective strength building program.
Using Gada (Indian Mace), Mudgal (Indian clubs) and several floor-based exercises, our Kasrat program helps build strength and endurance. Our method stands out in the fact that our focus is on breath while using these ancient tools and techniques.
Apart from this, we have created three different aspects into this art.
First, is segmental training using mace and Mudgal. This builds individual muscle engagement and protects the practitioner from injuries.
Second, is the traditional swings taken directly from akharas of Varanasi and from Kalarippayattu conditioning techniques from Kerala.
Third segment is a mace flow or as we call it mace vinyasa. Using Gada and breath to guide a sequence of movement that allows us to practice what we see as movement meditation.
• Ancient strength building techniques which integrate entire body
• Strength endurance – builds the ability to handle heavy objects for long duration
• Reinforces Rotational strength and sling patterns
• Skill based practice allows students to progress at their own pace
• Develops body awareness and focus – mindful movement
We live a very sheltered life. Most of us today lack even the basic skills needed to protect ourselves in adversity, find our way around the terrain without access to technology, life skills such as making a fire in the wilderness, making shelter from what is available and grow our own food.
We at Yogarambha believe these to be basic requirements of ‘being human’.
One aspect of survival, a very important one, is street survival. We believe everyone, especially women must know how to defend themselves both verbally and physically if needed. In this highly volatile social setup, this ability could mean life and death.
Second aspect, not any less important, is life coaching/skill development. In this segment, promote skills that are all but lost to the younger generation such as path finding, constellation gazing, fire making, tent pitching and other important wilderness activities.
• Learn new skills which are for life
• Group and community-based activity – learn to work in collaboration not competition
• Develop a support group or tribe mentality and encourage leadership qualities
• Martial arts customised for children, women and men in separate groups each with unique goals and targets
• Fight conditioning to make us stronger and sharper both mentally and physically
Nature nurtures the man. Without a strong connection with our roots, it is very difficult to find peace and contentment.
Over consumption both physical and mental has led us to a state where we are overfed and undernourished. While consumerism has increased to a point that the earth itself is in jeopardy, we as a species have declined drastically in our empathy and mental clarity.
Cultures and spiritual teachers of all times have stressed on the connection between all beings and nature. Yet today, an average urban dweller doesn’t know where his food and water come from and has no sensitivity towards how his choices impact his surroundings.
It is to nourish this special connection with nature, that the Yogarambha team has created the sustainability program.
• Re-establish human – nature bond
• Create awareness of how our choices impact environment
• Understand and practically create a system of how we can create sustainable lifestyle with minimum impact
• Learn and develop an interest in growing our own food
Who are we?
What is our purpose in life?
What is beyond all of this?
Only A peaceful well-balanced mind can ponder these questions. Questions that separate us from animals who live their lives driven by instinct devoid of any free will. By the path of yoga, the human being can evolve from his base instinct and tap into the super consciousness that the ancient art of yoga defines as samadhi. Through study of yogic scriptures like yoga sutras, Bhagwat Gita and Grehanda Samhita, and by systematic practice of pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana, our mind is capable of breaking away from the shackles of Maya and attain a state of
Samatvam or equanimity, a sense of one-ness with all beings and things; the final frontier of human evolution.