I am very excited and honored to share Dharma Yoga at Outta Hatha Singapore. In addition to my weekly class on Tuesday evenings, I will post a different theme or topic each week that relates to Dharma Yoga. As this is the first post, I want to introduce my beloved teacher to you all and also share what Dharma Yoga is all about.
Originally from Brazil, legendary yoga teacher Sri Dharma Mittra has been teaching Classical Yoga in New York City, for nearly 50 years. He founded one of the first independent schools of yoga and has taught traditional yoga to hundreds of thousands. At 76 years young, he is still standing on his head and teaching lots of tricks for asana ;) as well as sharing the theory and spiritual philosophy of yoga. He continues to disseminate the complete science of yoga including how to lead a content, simple and happy life and encourages compassion for all. He is filled with love and gentleness and all who have met him can attest to his great sense of humor. As one of the first yogis who took selfies (no small task in the pre-digital world!), he is well-known for his Master Chart of 908 Asanas Poster which hangs in many studios and homes all over the world. He is also a Karma Yogi, having dedicated so much of his life to selfless service.
First of all, yoga is a system of divinely-realized techniques which when practiced correctly can lead to radiant health, mental powers and psychic powers. As Dharma often says, Yoga is more than all these fancy poses and breathing exercises---these are just preparations or techniques that will settle the mind into silence. Healthy body=healthy mind. When we are calm and quiet, we can realize our true divine self.
Dharma Yoga is from the Hatha-Raja lineage. It is a holistic and complete practice based on the traditional science of yoga. One of the main characteristics of Dharma Yoga is the focus on the 8 limbed path, which is how yoga was originally taught and practiced in the beginning, thousands of years ago. This means that in addition to the yoga postures (the 3rd limb), there is a strong focus on the other limbs also, especially the first and second limbs, Yama (ethical precepts) and Niyama (self-disciplines) which purify the mind and heart preparing the practioner for deeper and more subtle practices (The Yamas will be discussed in my post next week).
Dharma Yoga uses asana as a spiritual practice. Sri Dharma encourages us to practice the physical postures with devotion and grace. Each pose can be like an offering to the supreme self. This way, asana becomes a deeply inward and spiritual practice and not only a tool for strengthening, toning and stretching but a gateway to super - consciousness. Even the most challenging of poses can be like a meditation. Sri Dharma will frequently get everyone into a pose and then once he is satisfied with the alignment, he will say "now bury your mind in your heart" or "close your eyes and stop all mental activities...focus on your 3rd eye". This is when the Raja (or highest) yoga/union can occur. Ultimately the goal of yoga after we practice all these yogic techniques is Self-Realization. With lots of repetition and practice, we eventually realize that we are more than the body and mind. We are not the doer. We are the witness.
In loving service to Sri Dharma Mittra.
DHARMA YOGA Under the Stars with Sherri
Every Tuesday evening @ 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Outta Hatha Yoga @ Customs House Terrace
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