Svaroopa® yoga, one of the primary styles of hatha yoga in America, is known for its compassionate approach to profoundly transformative work with the body, mind and emotions.
The Svaroopa® yoga practice is both physical and more than physical. When your body is contracted, it shuts down and you lose the ability to feel it. Svaroopa® yoga uses precise alignments in carefully selected poses, along with meticulous placement of props, to open up the deepest tensions of your body. This also opens up conscious access to the ever-expanding inner realms of being. Rather than using hatha yoga as a sophisticated form of exercise, Svaroopa® yoga pursues the search for an understanding of the deeper purposes of yoga: the understanding of your own essential nature.
The language of yoga is Sanskrit. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali uses the Sanskrit word svaroopa to name the inner experience of consciousness that is the goal of yoga. Svaroopa means “the bliss of your own Being”. In Sutra 1.3 he says, “tadaa drashtuh svaroope ‘vasthanam,” promising that the moment your mind becomes quiet, you will abide in the bliss of your own Being.
Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati (formerly known as Rama Berch), the founder and heart of Svaroopa® yoga, has been living and teaching yoga for over 30 years. She trained in five styles of hatha yoga as well as pranayama and meditation, yet Nirmala's unique way of working with the body emerged from a “cosmic download” brought about when initiation from her Guru in 1976 awakened in her the divine energy called MahaKundalini. This energy moved her body into spontaneous yoga poses, and illustrated to her the workings of the spine as a conduit of consciousness. Swami Nirmalananda brings to her teaching an encyclopedic grasp of the principles of yoga, in which she was deeply grounded during many years of study in India. Her life is dedicated to service, passing on to others these extraordinary gifts she has received.
Svaroopa Vidya Ashram Website
by Swami Nirmalananda
Most recent contemplations:
A Bolt from the Blue
Other Popular contemplations:
Svaroopa® Yoga – Process and Purpose
How Much Yoga Is Enough for You?
Yoga – the Discipline of Independent Bliss
by Margery Anderson
Most recent essays:
What is Svaroopa Yoga?
Other essays and articles of interest:
Commonly Asked Questions
Hatha Yoga, Svaroopa® Yoga, Mountain Yoga
Be Here Now
Aren’t You Done Yet?
Ice & Fire; Hate and Desire
Margery first studied yoga when she moved to Vermont in 1976 and couldn’t find a dance class to attend. She quickly discovered that yoga was much more than the physical movement she was looking for. Yoga made everything in her life better: her work, her relationships, even her own sense of self.
She began teaching casually a few years later, and in 1992 began training with Michael Lee as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, becoming certified in 1993. In 1994, she became certified to teach Kripalu Yoga and opened Mountain Yoga here in Rutland. “I was tired of lugging blocks, a boom box and even incandescent lighting to various venues. Plus, I wanted people to know where to find yoga when they were ready to try it. I also wanted them to know that if they left their studies for a while, yoga classes would be there when they were ready to come back!”
In 1996, Margery took her first class with Rama Berch at a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Gathering in Maryland. She immediately knew that Rama was the teacher she had been looking for. “I practically jumped in her lap! I told her, ‘You’re teaching what I want to learn and what I want to teach.”
Margery has studied with Rama (now known as Swami Nirmalananda) ever since, earning her first certification in 1997. She has continued with advanced teacher training and Svaroopa® yoga therapy training and is now registered with the Yoga Alliance as a certified Svaroopa® Yoga teacher.
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