Mystical Yoga is union of Sadhana Yoga and indigenous Shamanic practices revealing the inner mystic. Though it is derived from different yoga traditions, such as Ashtanga Vinyasa, Sivananda and Iyengar, it is designed beyond form and tradition and aims to encompass the essence of yoga as a practice of union.. It focus on the roots of our yoga tradition, which uses yoga as an instrument to reveal the truth of our existence, the spiritual being, wed with indigenous spiritual practice.
Mystical Yoga, from the perspective of the practitioner, has three levels. The first level of practice is the foundation, which is formed through a routine of fundamental postures linked with transition breath and sequences. The second level is the modification. Based the first level postures and the sequence, the students start to modify the existing postures to the level of difficulty, providing options to share with all abilities and levels of understanding. The third level is the integration. Mystical Yoga is based upon personal experience and the journey to one’s true self, so integration allows students to meld the learned routines with personal practice.
Through this approach, Mystical Yoga not only shares the traditions and disciplines of yoga, but also to meet these practices on a personal level, so that the practices and teachings become meaningful and pertinent to a student’s own understanding of yoga as a path to one’s essence. There is no longer a rigid form of yoga from SchoolYoga Institute, but rather guidance towards the true connection to yoga and self-understanding of the yoga. In this way, the yoga we share becomes a spiritual practice for each student.
Mystical Yoga has many different routines, such as Mystical Vinyasa Yoga, Mystical Hatha Flow Yoga, Mystical Gentle Yoga, Mystical Restorative Yoga, and Mystical Shamanic Yoga. Whatever the routine we create, this yoga is for the purpose of spiritual practice as well as to accommodate the demands of the market place. When we share Mystical Yoga as a daily practice, we see that each routine has similar components and steps. The typical routine and sequence of Mystical Yoga could be summarized as follows:
- Chanting in the name of spirit and/or deities, or connecting energies, in order to connect the practitioner to the higher Self
- Set intentions or a theme for the class by bringing awareness to our inner being – this helps to bring depth to the practice and allow it to operate not just on the physical level, but on the more subtle levels as well.
- Breathing exercises (typically fire breath and alternate nostril breath) to deepen the meditative state.
- Warm up including, gentle stretches in seated, kneeling and standing position, and sun salutations (see training manual).
- Lesson Focus including standing sequence and seated sequence (see training Manual).
- Closing sequence including a series of postures designed to work on each energy center of the body (chakra) from the top to the bottom of the body (see training manual).
- Relaxation involves students in corpse pose, processing three stages of relaxation. The first stage is to use progressive muscular relaxation from the toes to the head, then use auto-suggestion to let go of the tension of body from toes to the head and let go the tension from internal organs. The second stage is to relax the mind and bring the mind into a state of no thought. The last stage is the spiritual relaxation where there is no thought, only the sensation of vastness emptiness of universe.
- Connection to the intention, or theme of class with summary statements or spiritual healing concepts.
- Chanting on the name of spirit to express the gratitude and thanks. Mystical Vinyasa Flow Yoga is the yoga of spiritual practice, expressed in a flow based on the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition. Each posture is linked and connected with inhalation or exhalation of breath and a vinyasa sequence. Each pose is typically held for around 5 breaths, then followed by a breath-connected vinyasa before the next pose. The focus is on moving with breath and grace.
Mystical Vinyasa Flow Yoga is the yoga of spiritual practice, expressed in a flow based on the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition. Each posture is linked and connected with inhalation or exhalation of breath and a vinyasa sequence. Each pose is typically held for around 5 breaths, then followed by a breath-connected vinyasa before the next pose. The focus is on moving with breath and grace. See example video
Mystical Hatha Flow Yoga is the yoga of spiritual practice, expressed in a flow based on the Sivananda Classic Yoga Tradition. Each posture is held for a long period of time – up to 15 minutes – so that each pose become a pose of meditation. This tradition starts working through the energetic system of the body, the seven major chakras, working from the top to the bottom. This is the only unique style of yoga that has such a design. See example video
More About the Andean Medicine Wheel
The Andean medicine wheel is a way of tracking and shifting energy. Though we have adapted this into the directions, they are actually steps on a circular pyramid with upward spiraling levels. By learning to transform our perspective from one level to the next we move up the scale of human evolution, out of unconscious low and mid brain, fight or flight responses and into the higher brain, prefrontal cortex, parasympathetic nervous system where we are able to rest and digest, heal old wounds, live in beauty and create freedom and peace for all.
There are four levels of perception and seven insights through which the medicine elders engage the world. These levels correspond to the manifestations of human existence and experience. They are the Wind of the South – the Serpent; the Wind of the West – the Jaguar; the Wind of the North – the Hummingbird, and the Wind of the East – the Eagle or Condor, interwoven with the supporting spirits of Alpamama – Mother Earth and Intitaitai – Father Sky. The Serpent corresponds to the physical body, the Jaguar corresponds to the realm of mind, thoughts and ideas, the Hummingbird corresponds the realm of myth at the soul level, the Eagle or condor corresponds the world of spirit at the energetic level, the Mother Earth corresponds to feminine energy, the Father Sky corresponds to the masculine energy, and the inner guru voice of the heart.
Each level has its lessons, appropriateness, time and place—as well as they build upon each other. We shed personal stories and explore the realm of the body at the level of Serpent; release cultural beliefs and ancestral bondages in the realm of the mind, the Jaguar; step into our personal soul’s journey at the realm of myth, the Hummingbird; and dream the world into existence at the level of the Eagle or Condor, or the realm of energy. Our aim through using various shamanic techniques, the simplest being awareness, is to consistently remain in and base our actions, being and insights from the upper levels of hummingbird and eagle.
Direction of the South: Serpent, Body
At the level of serpent, we come in contact with our physical bodies, we come into ease and grace as beings of the earth. We do what needs to be done without drama or burden, attending to the practical matters of daily life, providing for our basic needs. Setting our foundations in the timeless traditions of raja yoga, we proceed systematically to build our energy bodies, stay grounded, and contact our inner essence. In tune with the rhythms of life, we move and flow, change and grow, from the guidance of pachamama. We shed any layers of physical unease, just like a serpent shed’s its skin to walk in beauty, connection and ease. Listening to our instinctual senses, we become masters of living in the physical world.
Direction of the West: Jaguar, Mind/Emotions
At the level of jaguar, we work with our mind and emotions, calming our mental habits and creating balance free flowing pathways of emotional stability. We develop iyini, reciprocity, right relationships and embark on the way of jyana yoga, studying the wisdom teachings, using our minds to penetrate the veils to the depths of who we are. We see clearly our shadows, samskaras and conditioning, stalking and releasing them like the magic cat of the jungle. With agility and clarity, we engage in the world in a meaningful way, going beyond survival to thriving playfully in all dimensions. We develop agility and clarity, create magic through our thoughts and words, and become a master of service and symbolism.
Direction of the North: Hummingbird, Soul Journey
At the level of hummingbird, we enter the realm of myth, meaning, passion, joy. We embrace the paths of nada and bhakti yoga with devotion, passion and creativity. In synchronicity with the natural wonder of which we are a part we find infinite meanings carrying us forward to our highest passions, destiny and dharma. Creating our own poetry, songs, seeing the divine nectar from which all emanates, we have gone to the root of all healing—the soul level—where we find our highest purpose in this life. We share our gifts with a loving open heart, knowing that we are on an epic journey to unfold our highest destiny.
Direction of the East: Eagle, Spirit
At the level of eagle, we enter the realm of pure spirit. We go beyond our personal stories to the great void, the interconnected nature of all, the great tapestry of Indra’s net where all becomes clear in the timeless perfection. Living in the world while liberated, we have integrated with wisdom, direct knowing, we share appropriately, authentically, without attachment in alignment with the teachings of karma yoga. We reach high to the skies and see the details below with integrity, seamlessly at one with all. We fully step into our power as co-creators of reality, dreaming the world into being.