Satchidananda Maharaj (Sri Gurudev), the founder of Integral Yoga, was a spiritual master and yoga adept. He became famous during his time in New York, which led to the birth of an entirely new system of yoga. After a life full of soul searching and studying with various yoga masters, Sri Gurudev created Integral yoga.
The founder describes integral yoga as, “a flexible combination of specific methods to develop every aspect of the individual: physical, intellectual, and spiritual.”
The Goal of Integral Yoga
Sri Gurudev used the simple motto, “Easeful, peaceful and useful.” This was later expanded to explain the overall mission statement of integral yoga. Sri Gurudev and the resulting institute believe that, “the goal and birthright of all individuals is the spiritual unity behind the diversity throughout creation and to live harmoniously as members of 'one universal family'”. Integral yoga believes this is our natural condition and can be attained with a very specific set of practices.
How the Goal Is Reached
In order to reach our “natural state”, practitioners will embark on a strict practice of:
- Asanas (yoga postures)
- Selfless action
- Pranayama (breathing)
By combining all of these methods, the integral system believes one will attain:
- A healthy and strong body.
- Control over each of the five senses.
- A life filled with peace, joy and bliss.
- A pure ego.
- A sharp mind.
- A disciplined self.
These benefits are the result of a lifelong pursuit and rigorous practice. However, you can start experiencing many of these benefits within the first few weeks of a regular practice. Ready to get started?
What to Expect in Your First Class
Your first integral yoga class will be fun, exciting and ideally mind expanding. Begin by finding an integral yoga studio near you. They are centered in New York City, however, there is a network of certified yoga teachers all over the world.