Because a gram of practice
is worth tons of theory
The International Yoga Camp in Herculane has an extremely complex and intensive programme every year. That is why there is a real need for discernment and common sense to choose exactly what we want, what is most useful and helps us most, without neglecting the moments of rest and relaxation. Besides lectures, meditations and spirals, it is worth considering the practical yoga sessions. They give us a unique opportunity to deepen the yoga techniques and methods learned at the yoga course, along with dozens or even hundreds of participants.
A good day starts with Hatha YogaMany of the participants in the camps already have the habit of doing a practical Hatha Yoga session early in the morning. If the camp programme allows it, in some days there will be a yoga session with asanas in unison under the guidance of a yoga instructor. These Hatha Yoga sessions can be attended by students of yoga of any year of course. Regardless of our seniority, asanas are and will always remain a source of health and energy, but also the simplest and most effective method of waking and activating the subtle power centers, chakras. Moreover, asanas are the basis, or otherwise said the foundation that all the other more advanced yoga techniques, such as pranayama (breath control techniques) or meditations, are based upon.
Asanas underlie the spiritual practice of the aspiring yogiIt is deceiving to imagine (most often due to our laziness) that we can practice yoga efficiently without doing asanas, or in other words without engaging the body in our practice, because the body must become and be maintained supple, flexible, harmonious and healthy. Asanas directly and concretely prepare the "ground" for the techniques of concentration or for successful meditations. The great yogis assert that it is virtually impossible to gain control over the mental vortices before one has gained stability and firmness in the asanas (the yogic bodily poses) and the control of breath through pranayama exercises. If not all, at least most of the asanas must become pleasurable, relaxing and energizing before one can approach pranayama or long meditations. From this perspective, it is worthwhile mobilizing to participate in the Hatha Yoga sessions in unison, which will provide us with an excellent - both physical and subtle - tone for the whole day, in just an hour or two of practice.
Deepening various techniques learnt in yoga classesBesides the Hatha Yoga sessions, we can also find in the holiday camp programme other yoga practices, which are done in unison, depending on the available locations. It is important to remember that we can participate only to those techniques we have already learned in the respective yoga classes we are attending. That is why it is necessary to have with us, besides the camp pass, the yoga course pass, which shows what year of yoga we graduated.
As we all know, all yogic techniques and methods have a huge potential, most of the time unsuspected. Beginning with the asanas, all yogic spiritual techniques can be deepened to a high and nuanced extent. Something that may have escaped us in the first practicing sessions, after months or years of practice can be revealed to us as being amazing or even overwhelming. Considering the spiritual integration, the subtle supporting field of a holiday yoga camp, plus the unison effect ("there is strength in numbers"), we are likely to feel, discover and experience new and wonderful aspects in these practical sessions.
Here are some of these yogic techniques that can be done in unison during the camp:
- Tratakam technique with a certain yantra. A yantra is a two-dimensional drawing that synthesizes the characteristics of the subtle sphere of force whose symbolic representation is. Through meditation with open eyes, starring at the center of the yantra (tratakam), it is brought about a significant improvement in mental concentration capacity, as well as in the ability to resonate with that subtle sphere of force, even if we are not yet initiated in it.
- The yogic technique of evoking and assimilating in our being of a subtle colored stream. The subtle coloured streams are the visible manifestation of subtle beneficial energies in the Universe, which have different vibration frequencies and therefore produce specific, particularly beneficial and even therapeutic effects (physiologically, psychically, mentally and spiritually) in the practitioner's being.
- Doing in unison one of the five volitive actions to direct the subtle energy. The 5 actions of volitional energy directing are: utkshepana (lifting), apakshepana (descending), akunkana (concentrating or focusing), prasarana (expansion) and gamana (projection at a distance).
- The secret technique of transference of consciousness, Phowa. It is a complex yogic technique that allows the transfer at will of the practitioner's consciousness into the inner universe of another human being, in order to achieve a state of communion and knowledge through direct experience.
- Calling upon the families of divine energies of the Kalachakra Tantra tradition. This yogic technique belongs to the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and aims to invoke the grace of God the Father for a rapid and harmonious transformation by alchemizing some inferior energies into their specific opposite.
- Exercises to invoke and resonate with the guardian angel, or with different angels or angelic hierarchies. There are specific techniques and method of entering into occult resonance and spiritual communion with certain sublime angelic beings, which can be of real help both on our path to perfection, and in everyday life.