All practices used in Hridaya Yoga serve the same aspiration: the Revelation of our True Nature, the Revelation of the Spiritual Heart and the realization of the ultimate freedom, [glossary]moksha[glossary].
The teaching of meditation techniques is supported by a methodology designed to improve the control of the mind and the clarity of the mind in specific ways that each practitioner can objectify by themselves. (For instance, the technique of “Capturing the Uncaught mind,” which allows a very precise observation of the progress we make during every meditation regarding the presence of the Witness Consciousness and of the clarity of the mind).
Thus, Hridaya Yoga intends to enable every student to make progress without continuously needing a teacher’s assistance. We encourage the dialogue with the teacher, but not the dependence on the teacher. Hridaya Yoga includes the guidelines necessary for a progressive spiritual workout in which the mind and the Heart as “knowledge organs” are gradually developed.
The spiritual texts underlying the theoretical and practical aspects of the Yoga of the Spiritual Heart are: Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, Spanda Karika, Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Yoga Upanishads, etc. and the dialogues and statements of important spiritual masters including Shankara, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Jean Klein, Swami Sivananda, Rumi, Meister Eckhart, etc.
The Methodology of Hridaya Yoga
The tools used in and the methodology of Hridaya Yoga serve the purpose of creating the premises necessary for the revelation of our divine nature. The Path of the Spiritual Heart mainly uses meditations for the revelation of the Spiritual Heart and Hridaya Hatha Yoga.
Based on these tools, the practice takes place in an appropriate environment including:
- The Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat
- Hridaya Intensive Yoga Modules
- Drop-in classes on Hatha Yoga and meditation
- Daily (weekly) group meditations
- Weekend workshops on various themes related with the Revelation of the Spiritual Heart
- Lectures, etc.
Besides the formal practice, as previously explained, what we consider to be even more important is the development of a spiritual community where everyone is welcome to express their aspirations, creativity and spontaneity.
The methods used in Hridaya Yoga are designed to address everyone in a nuanced way regardless of their experience or abilities regarding hatha yoga and meditation, starting from children to adults of all ages, from persons in need of therapeutic guidance to advanced practitioners.
During yoga classes, the students are supervised and guided so that, through their own inner abilities, they become able to make maximum progress in familiarization with their true nature. The practice is therefore designed to cater for individual needs, taking into account the physical, psychic, mental and spiritual abilities of each student.
Communication, sincerity and openness play an important role in the process of designing an individual practice.
Common Elements in Hridaya Hatha Yoga Sessions
Hridaya Yoga gradually integrates several attitudes which will applied in all hatha yoga sessions.
These attitudes are:
- Mental peace.
- Centering into the Spiritual Heart and awakening of the radiating “warmth” of the Heart.
- The Witness Consciousness–a detached observation of the way in which the energies move through subtle structures.
- Conscious Breathing, and, especially, the awareness of pauses between breathing in and breathing out. (Conscious breathing helps us improve our ability to preceive energy and to expand into the Stillness beyond the mind.)
- Love, the devotion for the ultimate reality of the Spiritual Heart, for God, and, implicitly, for all creation.
- The awakening of spiritual aspiration, of the feeling of sacredness in our being, of the Sacred Tremor, spanda.
- The letting go of the ego-based consciousness.
- Transcending the consciousness of our physical body’s limits.
- The consciousness of oneness; the vision of non-duality, advaita.
Each Hridaya Hatha Yoga session ends with a yogic complete relaxation and a meditation for infusing/expanding the consciousness of oneness into our daily life. Ultimately, we endeavor to create an adequate atmosphere and conditions so that all students will leave the room more conscious with regard to themselves and the entire existence, more self-confident, and with a more profound vision regarding life and the divine reality: healthier, more compassionate, happier, with a higher capacity for sincere friendships and inner sense of freedom.