Hatha Yoga in Bristol
At Omkari Yoga we teach classical Hatha yoga in Bristol. Our classes bring a modern and yet authentic approach to Yoga.
Our teachers have been inspired by ancient teachings and studied from a range of lineages including Sivananda, Iyengar and Ashtanga.
Classes are mostly 90 minutes and beautifully combine yogic philosophy, breathing, asanas and human anatomy, with a sprinkling of sanskrit chanting.
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We offer weekly classes, monthly workshops, retreats in the UK and overseas and CPD events.
The Five Points of Yoga
Proper Exercise (Asanas) - Yoga poses help develop a strong, healthy body by enhancing flexibility and improving circulation.
Proper Breathing (Pranayama) - Deep, conscious breathing reduces stress and many diseases.
Proper Relaxation - Helps keep the body from going into overload mode, easing worry and fatigue.
Proper Diet - Eating simple, healthy and vegetarian foods that are easy to digest notably have a positive effect on the mind and body, as well as the environment and other living beings.
Positive Thinking (Vedanta) & Meditation
(Dhyana) - These are the true keys to achieving peace of mind and eliminating negativity in our lives.
Swami Sivananda recognised that every Yogi, or human being for that matter, possesses and identifies with each of these elements: Intellect, heart, body and mind. He therefore advocated everyone to practice certain techniques from each path of yoga.
"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny." ~ Upanishads
The Four Paths of Yoga
There are four main paths of Yoga - Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. Each is suited to a different temperament or approach to life. All the paths lead ultimately to the same destination - to union with Brahman or God - and the lessons of each of them need to be integrated if true wisdom is to be attained. It is important to combine a practice of all creating a synthesis of yoga.
Karma Yoga - The path of action (selfless service)
Karma Yoga is the path of action, service to others, mindfulness, and remembering the levels of our being while fulfilling our actions or karma in the world.
Bhakti Yoga - the path of devotion
Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion, emotion, love, compassion, and service to God and others. All actions are done in the context of remembering the Divine.
Jnana Yoga - the path of knowledge
Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge, wisdom, introspection and contemplation. It involves deep exploration of the nature our being by systematically exploring and setting aside false identities.
Raja Yoga - the path of the mind & meditation
Raja Yoga is a comprehensive method that emphasizes meditation, while encompassing the whole of Yoga. It directly deals with the encountering and transcending thoughts of the mind.
Omkari Yoga classes generally involve warming up with a sun salutations, 'Surya Namaskar', a gentle aerobic exercise to get you going. You will be guided into classical yoga poses, while maintaining full yogic breathing as you enter and leave each position. As you advance and become more experienced, you’ll gradually be able to hold them longer - improving flexibility and strength. Each class will then end with some relaxation techniques in the form of deep breathing and guided relaxation exercise and sanskrit chanting.
The 12 Basic Poses or asanas are much more than just stretching. They open the energy channels, chakras and psychic centers of the body while increasing flexibility of the spine, strengthening bones and stimulates the circulatory and immune systems. Along with proper breathing or pranayama, asanas also calm the mind and reduce stress. With regular practice one can ensure overall physical and mental health and the possible prevention of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. In time, performing the poses slowly and consciously, becomes a mental exercise in concentration and meditation.