Sivananda yoga classes in Brussels & Amsterdam


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2016 Sharad Navratri

Navratri is one of the most celebrated festivals of India. Nav translates to ‘Nine’ and Ratri to ‘Night’ therefore meaning nine nights that are dedicated to the Divine Mother in all of her forms.

The Mother Goddess is said to appear in 9 forms, and each one is worshiped for a day. These nine forms signify various traits that the goddess influences us with. The Devi Mahatmya and other texts invoking the Goddess who vanquished demons are cited.

Navratri Festival Celebrations devotees are welcoming Goddess Durga for nine days. The celebration lasts for nine nights, or as many days. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami , wherein devotees immerse idols of Goddess Durga into the water. This year Navratri which started on October 1 will be on till October 10, with 11th being Dussehra. It is also known as the Maha Navratri and the most important day.

The nine forms of Goddess Durga is said to symbolise creative energy and the feminine body. Each form of the goddess has its own day dedicated to it. 

 

Sources: 

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Navaratri festival from 13-25 October 2015

Navaratri is one of the most celebrated festivals of India. Nav translates to ‘Nine’ and Ratri to ‘Night’ therefore meaning nine nights that are dedicated to the Divine Mother in all of her forms.

The Mother Goddess is said to appear in 9 forms, and each one is worshiped for a day. These nine forms signify various traits that the goddess influences us with. The Devi Mahatmya and other texts invoking the Goddess who vanquished demons are cited.

The first three days of Navaratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga (Warrior Goddess) dressed in red and mounted on a lion. Her various incarnations- Kumari, Parvati and Kali are worshipped during these days. They represent the three classes of womanhood that include the child, young girl and mature woman.

Next three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi ( Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity), dressed in gold and mounted on an owl and finally, last three days are dedicated to Goddess Sarasvati (Goddess of Knowledge), dressed in milky white and mounted on a pure white swan. Ashtami, Navami and Vijaydasami which is on the 9th day are celebrated as Sarasvati Puja in which books are worshipped. The books are placed for Puja on the Ashtami day in own houses, traditional nursery schools, or in temples. On Vijayadasami day, the books are ceremoniously taken out for reading and writing after worshipping Sarasvati. Vijaydasami day is considered auspicious for initiating the children into writing and reading, which is called Vidyarambham. Tens of thousands of children are initiated into the world of letters on this day.

Sources: Sivananda, Wikipedia, India Online pages


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Join the workshop ‘An introduction to Nada Yoga, the Yoga of Divine Vibration’

nada yogaSampoorna Yoga Studio in Brussels is organizing a course where we delve into the practice of Nada Yoga to help purify body, mind and emotions. The course will take place on 4 Tuesday afternoons in October, in Brussels.

In India, sound has been used as a healing medium for over 5000 years. In the full practice of Sampoorna Yoga, the path of Nada Yoga – the science of divine vibration – plays an important role. It is a very effective path to liberation. It can be practiced by anyone, anywhere and brings about peace and happiness. It is not an intellectual pursuit but an experiential one.

This course is intended for yoga teachers and sincere yoga practitioners, and gives them a clear foundation of the practice of Nada Yoga. No prior musical knowledge necessary.

Asampoorna-yoga-03-FRONT-SITEfter a brief theoretical introduction, we will work on voice control, sound production, breath control through pranayama, chakra purification exercises. We’ll practice simple vocal and rhythmic exercises based on the teachings of Shri Yogi Hari and Swami Nadabrahmananda. Furthermore we will learn some simple chants.

Each of the 4 sessions will have a specific theme: introduction and theory, melody (raga), rhythm (taal), chanting (moksha mantras, bhajans, kirtan).

EknathThe course will be given by Eknath (aka Erwin Vann) professional musician, former professor at the Royal Conservatories of Brussels and Antwerp, Certified Sampoorna Yoga Teacher (ERYT500) and direct disciple of Shri Yogi Hari.

I’ll be there, will you?

Dates: 7, 14, 21 & 28 October from 2-4PM
Price
: 80€ for the full course (25€ for a single session)
Place: Sampoorna Yoga Studio, Rue du Houblon/ Hopstraat 40, 1000 Brussels


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Mantra of the day: Ganesha Mantra

My mantra of yesterday was the very powerful Ganesha mantra: “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha”, which can be loosely translated (according to MindBodyGreen) to “Yo! Wake up Root Chakra energy of transformation so I can move through any obstacles in my life.”

Ganapati is another name for Ganesha, who is symbolized as an elephant-headed god, representing power and fortitude. He is the remover of obstacles and bestower of success.

Chant this mantra for as long as you need whenever you feel the need to take away obstacles from your life, from your mind. Sit somewhere quiet in your favorite meditation pose, close your eyes start chanting. You’ll feel the effect immediately. It’s calming, reassuring and brings about a sense of relief and strength.

Chant this mantra 108 times.

The number 108 has many meanings, including the following:

  • It is the hyperfactorial of 3 since it is of the form 1^1 * 2^2 * 3^3.
  • The interior angles of a regular pentagon measure 108 degrees each.
  • Hindu deities have 108 names. Recital of these names, often accompanied by counting of 108-beaded Mala, is considered sacred and often done during religious ceremonies. The recital is called namajapa.
  • Shiva’s Nataraja dances his cosmic dance in 108 poses.
  • In the Bhagavata Purana, Krishna dances with 108 Gopis.
  • In Hindu Astrology there are 12 Rashis or Zodiacs and 9 Planets or Navagrahas. 12 X 9 = 108. This symbolism is illustrated well by the counting method, where the finger segments of the right hand represent the Rashis and those on the left hand the Navagrahas.
  • Also in Hindu Astrology there are 27 Lunar mansions or Nakshatras which are divided in 4 Padas or quarters each. 27 X 4 = 108.
  • 108 signifies the wholeness of the divinity, perfect totality.
  • The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

Sources: Meditation & Mantras by Swami Vishnudevananda, MindBodyGreen, Western-Hindu.


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Om Trayambakam mantra

At the end of each Sivananda yoga class, we chant the mantra ‘Om Trayambakam‘, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra (Sanskrit: महामृत्युंजय मंत्र ).

It’s a mantra for peace and life-giving. The mantra blesses the students and the teacher and protects them to return home safely as it wards off deaths and accidents. It’s a Siva mantra and should be repeated 3, 9, 27 or 108 times, especially on your birthday. This will bestow health, long life, liberation and prosperity on you.

Significance (source: Wikipedia)

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is the great mantra for conquering death for it protects against all threats and at the time of death eases the process of release. It is one of the more potent of the ancient mantras, a call for enlightenment and a practice of purifying the karmas of the soul at a deep level. It is beneficial for mental, emotional and physical health. It is also a moksha mantra which bestows longevity and immortality.


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Gajananam Dhyana Slokas beginning prayer

At the beginning of each Sivananda yoga class, we sing the Gajananam Dhyana Slokas, it’s the beginning prayer to start the class in peace & harmony, to ask the gods to protect the students and teachers on their yoga journey. It helps to bring the attention of both the teacher and the students entirely to the class and to leave any stress, worries or negativity outside of the classroom.