This month two of the most senior Satyananda teachers are coming to New Zealand to deliver workshops on various yoga topics including Ajna Chakra, Yoga & Art and Kriya Yoga.
Rishis Nityabodhananda and Yoga Diwali Saraswati are an internationally acclaimed couple, dedicated to practicing and sharing yoga and meditation. They have also raised a family thus sprinkling their teachings with plenty of life experience.
The Yoga Lunchbox has been fortunate enough to interview both Rishis – this first one is with Rishi Yoga Diwali, watch out for Rishi Nityabodhananda’s interview coming tomorrow.
Always a spiritual aspirant, Diwali combined a successful career in advertising with her search for spiritual teachings. She trained in Yoga at Satyananda Ashram at Mangrove Mountain and spent extended stays in India with Swami Satyananda. Diwali has now devoted her energies to spreading the light and knowledge of Yoga. Her classes and lessons, while based on tradition are also modified with her creative flair to adapt to the minds and hearts of today.
Always the artist, Diwali has developed her own Art and Yoga courses. Here’s what Diwali had to say about both Art and Yoga:
1. Many people who practice yoga have never heard of Yantra – what is it and how does it work?
A Yantra is a geometrical shape, often a combination of square, triangles and circles. Yantra is also the vibrational shape of sound. These sounds are called Mantras. When a Mantra is pronounced it gives a characteristic vibrational shape detectable with a tonoscope or sand particles on a thin skin. The purpose of using these Yantras is to concentrate the mind and bypass the logical and rational mind.
2. You are both an artist and a yogi who once worked in advertising… what’s the relationship between yoga and art? How do they inform each other?
Art is a direct link to the unconscious. Yoga is a process of awakening consciousness within the unconscious mind. Therefore art is a valuable method for us to become aware of our unconscious potential and thus evolve to total consciousness, the goal of Yoga.
3. How does your understanding of art inform your yoga teaching?
Art and being of artistic bent gives me the ability to know the needs of students thus the teaching is fashioned not to a curriculum but to the student.
4. Many of us tend to think that only a few are artists, yet everybody can be creative. How can yoga help us unlock our innate creativity?
Every child is born an artist, which in the process of becoming an adult covers the purity with patterns and impressions. Yoga allows us to uncover the samskaras and patterns and take us back to a state that reaches our inner child, our earliest memories and first impressions.
5. How can art help us to unlock our true potential as human beings?
Our current society is left brain dominating. Art is a right brain activity and it allows us to access our intuitive nature. Art can be utilized as a tool to begin to release this intuitative knowledge and unlock our true potential.
6. How can meditation and visualisation enhance our creativity and inner vision?
Psychic symbols help concentrate the mind. Mantras help purify and raise the frequency of the mind and yantras deepen concentration
7. Anything else you’d like to add?
A concentrated mind is an experience of oneness where there is no separation between the meditator, the process and the object. Concentration is an advanced state of meditation in which there is no time, no place and no other thing except the yantra. If continued, concentration culminates in spiritual experience.
Hope this answers your questions.
From June 3- 22 the Rishis will be sharing workshops and retreats in Auckland area, Wellington, Christchurch and Golden Bay. Topics include Ajna Chakra, Yoga & Art and Kriya Yoga. Find more details on Anahata’s website.
- 3rd June, 10am-1pm, Swanson, Yoga and Art, at the Yoga Barn, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
- 3rd June, 6-7:30pm, Auckland, Yantras, at Manipura Yoga Centre, Email: email@example.com
- 4th -7th June, Waiakere, Yoga & Mediation Intensive Retreat for Anja Chakra, at Aio Wira Centre, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 8th June, Wellington, Anja Chakra-Awakening Intuition & Focus, at Yoga Unlimited, Email: email@example.com
- 11th June, 9am-12pm, Christchurch, Yoga & Art, at Yoga for You, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
- 11th June, 7:30-9:30pm, Christchurch, Ajna Chakra Weekend Intro, at Yoga for You, Email: email@example.com
- 12-13th June, 10am-4pm, Christchurch, Ajna Chakra Weekend Workshop, at Carlton Mill Hotel, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
- 17th -20th June, Golden Bay, Kriya Yoga Sadhana Retreat, at Anahata Yoga Retreat, Email: email@example.com
- Private sessions available at all events. Contact local organizer.