By Barbara McCarthy
Svaroopa is a Sanskrit word meaning the “bliss of your own being” and is pronounced swa-roo-pah. This style of yoga promotes maximum release of core tensions, particularly along the spine, while specializing on the inner experience. It is a compassionate and meditative yoga style that teaches a different way of doing traditional hatha yoga poses.
A typical class is 90 minutes in length and begins where other yoga styles end, shavasana, yoga’s relaxation pose. While lying down, you are directed through a guided awareness and learn the most important of yoga’s practices for healing, ujjayi pranayama. Poses follow the guided awareness and breathing practice, with class ending in another blissful shavasana. Classes are deeply relaxing, healing and transformational. Svaroopa® yoga will deepen your awareness of the body and cultivate your inner bliss.
It all starts at the tailbone. The “core opening” (release of spinal tension) begins at the tailbone — the pivot point of your body — and is systematically released through your sacrum, lumbar (waist area) and rib cage. As tension eases, your spine decompresses, your entire body begins to open up to a new found spaciousness, which your vital organs rest back into, and it quiets the restless mind. This core opening creates change that extends out to the periphery of your limbs, as well as into your inner recess; your body naturally finds balance. You are changing on all levels of your Being, outside and inside.
Support equals release. No mats, heated room, or pretzel poses here — just soft, comfy blankets that offer effortless muscular lengthening. We offer the body lots of support through the use of blankets, blocks and chairs, allowing the body to ease and lengthen into poses. Through lengthening, the muscles release unconsciously held tension, which is a different outcome than stretching. The propping used supports your body into alignment without all the effort, force and strain normally associated with yoga poses. This is a non-athletic style of yoga that happens through outer physical release combined with an inner softening.
Bones are for support. | Muscles are for movement. When you lean weight into a bone, the muscles around that bone automatically release their tension. The muscle naturally softens and lengthens. These muscles can now work more efficiently as more oxygen, blood and nutrients are able to pass through. Besides physically moving about your day, using legs and arms to propel you from bed to work, the coffee shop, picking up the kids and walking the dogs, keep in mind that muscle is what also controls the movements of your stomach, intestines, heart and circulatory systems. Svaroopa® yoga unravels your tension and encourages your body’s own natural functioning and healing capacity.
Your true nature is BLISS. You are always striving for joy and happiness. Everything you do, consciously and unconsciously, is to maintain a state of pure bliss. Don’t believe it? When was the last time you did anything to make yourself feel unhappy? Svaroopa® yoga is your total system for Self care. Its name alone defines the very goal of practicing yoga; it is its own play on words. Sva means self, your true essence, while roopa means form or shape and refers to the physical body. You are using the body as a tool for the development of consciousness, to have the deeper, inner experience of the Self. Each time you experience that first shavasana of class and the poses along the way, no matter how many times they may be done, it will always offer something more. It is challenging and exciting as you dive into the essence of your Self, outside and inside.
Barbara McCarthy is the owner of and yoga instructor at A Yogi’s Center in Prescott Valley, AZ. She began practicing Svaroopa® Yoga (a new paradigm in hatha yoga) about six years ago and has been teaching it for more than four years. Barbara is a former U.S. Marine. Contact Barbara at 928-514-7722 or visit her website at www.ayogiscenter.com.