The Philosophy of the School
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE PARASHAKTI YOGA SCHOOL
A significant discovery made by Sages in ancient India is that they found a strong interconnection between the psyche of a person and his vital tool — the physical body that implements his thoughts and aspirations. “We become what we think about.” This formula laid the basis for yoga teaching and marked the beginning of a fundamentally new outlook, “It is rather the Universe within myself, than me within the Universe.” Such a metaphysical concept of the Self gives a man almost limitless prospects in each and every aspect of life, both material and spiritual.
The value of gold is determined by its standard. The value of the path is made by its reliability. The teaching of yoga, which came to us from dateless antiquity and won over virtually the whole civilized world at the turn of the XXI century, being the path towards transformation of consciousness and spiritual liberation, has the highest standard of reliability. It lets a man find a ceaseless source of creative and potential power within himself, while opening the gateway to all-embracing harmony and prosperity. Positive thinking towards oneself and the world around, that yoga promotes, can successfully assist in overcoming the various psychophysical and spiritual problems of a modern person.
Who are we?
We are a team of people experiencing the need to unlock our creative and spiritual potential. We are united by our orientation toward a full, internally rich life. We appeal to humanistic psychology and we share its idea of self-actualization viz. identification of possibilities rooted in us by Nature and their implementation in the social, psychological and spiritual spheres. Our long-term experience in practicing yoga has led us to the conviction its methods are highly efficient. This fact gives us a moral imperative to share our experience and knowledge with others.
The Parashakti Yoga School is associated with the Indian Yogi and Sage, Swami Jyotirmayananda. Founded by His disciple, Vladimir Afanasyev, the school, in its present form, is an independent institution of psychophysical and spiritual development with its own curriculum collected for years including the original style of teaching and highly creative abilities.
These are the personalities who have had a key impact on the founder of the school (given in chronological order): Peter Afanasyev (father), Swami Narayanananda (Narayanananda Universal Yoga Trust), Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (Sri Sathya Sai Organization), Swami Jyotirmayananda (Yoga Research Foundation), M. P. Pandit (Sri Aurobindo Ashram), Swami Vignanananda (Prana Yoga), Gurumayi Chidvilasananda (SYDA Foundation), Guru Rattana (Kundalini Rising Yoga Alliance Registered School).
We adhere to Integral Yoga which constitutes an organic synthesis of various yoga branches. As a doctrine and practice, it has its roots in high antiquity, forming a path of conscious and consistent harmonization of body, feelings, mind and will, capable of completely transforming a person and brining one to a qualitatively new positive and spiritual level of perception of life and one’s attitude towards it.
The general principle of the universal Integral Yoga practice is simple and practical, i.e. systematic exercise of yoga-asanas, breathing exercises and kriyas, praying and meditation, chanting of mantras and study of spiritual literature, selfless acts and relaxation. Each step is taken little-by-little every day. With this approach, a favorable rhythm is produced and an internal dynamic is created, enabling a person to be better today, than yesterday.
Over time, if one methodically follows this course of action, the subconscious and the unconscious are gradually purified from negative mental structures so that control of the mind and senses will become quite subservient to one’s will and a meditative state of mind is easily achievable.
Integral Yoga can be represented as a tree composed of the following limbs.
Karma Yoga is the path of action in Yoga philosophy which affects the physical side of a person’s life. Here we learn to work not for our capricious ego but for the idea that an action not painted in tones of self-interest and therefore devoid of adherence to its results is the expression of that natural flow of life which streams a personality freely into the ocean of physical liberty. Karma Yoga creates positive conditions for inner spiritual insight into the truth that everything in this world is a manifestation of the Cosmic Power called God. But those actions which still bear a stamp of personal interest should be devoted to God as the only true Owner of Everything. Over time this position can lead a person to deep inner peace and harmony with the environment.
Raja Yoga affects the mental sphere with a view to transforming it through an appropriate adjustment. Usually, a person’s mind is directed to the outside world and is completely absorbed by it. Raja Yoga teaches the art of controlling thoughts and penetrating into the very depths of one’s inner world through specific mental and physical exercises. Owing to this yogic process, egoistic will transmutes into Divine Will and a person is eventually released from bonds of karmic conditionality.
Bhakti Yoga is the art of transforming sensibility and sentimentality into the flow of Divine Love. A person mastering Bhakti Yoga gradually begins to discover the Source within, that is the basis of all types of human love and that source is Spiritual. It brings true delight, as spiritual love does not weaken or pass away over the course of time. Sentimental, sensual love once flowing as a muddy river through the marshy ground of selfishness, eventually turns into a silver stream of freedom clearly flowing into the Divine Ocean of Bliss.
And, finally, Jnana Yoga is an art of transforming the mind into intuition. According to Swami Jyotirmayananda, “such transformation is the culmination of the process of the integration of a human person”. This is the path of knowledge or wisdom through study and deep understanding of the sacred and spiritual writings and teachings of a preceptor with a view to understanding the true nature of things and people. This practice eventually leads to the result that a spiritual seeker ceases to perceive himself as a separate, limited being full of illusory worldly predilections and realizes himself as the All-blessed and All-free Universal Spirit.
To the four main above-mentioned aspects of the Integral Yoga we add three more — Hatha Yoga, Japa Yoga and Kundalini Yoga.
Hatha Yoga is a miraculous psychophysical system of specific exercises based on a deep knowledge of the relationship between the body and mind. With regular practice of Hatha Yoga, one can regain lost health, develop strength of mind, reveal concealed fortitude, multiply wealth of willpower and achieve success in any business, in any field of activity. Hatha Yoga opens a secret entrance to the treasure of cosmic energy, Prana-Shakti and, thus, into the realm of strenght, courage and power, peace and perfection!
Japa Yoga is the secret science of repetition or the recitation of mystical formulas or the divine Names which hold enormous spiritual power. Through such repetition (japa), a large amount of psychic energy accumulates in the depths of the subconscious and the unconscious. Mantra recitation is a simple but highly effective method of spiritual development.
Kundalini Yoga is a yoga of mystical energy underlying all universal processes dormant in a person. Using specific yogic psychophysical practices (kriyas) and intense meditation on various psycho-energetic centers (chakras or “lotuses”), the soul energy wakes up. Being the highest manifestation of consciousness, it transforms a person completely.
Ideological Principles of the School
Priority is given to the culture of communication between people in a yoga group. Kindness, openness, tolerance — all these create a special atmosphere in our classes, an environment of trust, respect and love. Only on such a basis can dynamic changes in a person’s character successfully unfold and their spiritual essence be revealed.
Language is the main means of communication. The area we are exploring is of a delicate nature, having a direct relationship to health not only physical but also spiritual. The language must be appropriate. At our yoga classes, we learn to express thoughts clearly and formulate ideas precisely as well as to control our tongue on the principle of “first think and then speak”. Terminology constitutes a special matter.
Positive thinking and confidence in Life as it is professed by the school constitutes a psychological background which helps to smooth out the corners of life’s problems, largely contrived, and to spiritualize life’s journey with belief in Providence and the Highest Administration. We believe in such phrases or axioms as “All is for the best”, “Every cloud has a silver lining” and “This too shall pass.” The school also professes belief in oneself and in the limitless power of our mind and spirit. Against this positive background, we build our lives. We proceed from common sense and an urge to adhere to the happy middle ground in thoughts and actions.
The school’s theoretical materials are based on credible, authentic sources. Methods and technologies that form our practical arsenal have been well tested. They are safe and effective.
Topics discussed in the classes are not strictly limited to the framework of the program and may concern various problems of human life, not only spiritual, but also worldly ones. However, at the same time we teach their critical interpretation.
The school sees health as psychophysical and spiritual integrity ensuring a high quality of life with a worthy goal and develops in its students integral (“holotropic”) consciousness capable of comprehending all aspects of life.
Classes conducted by the school are creative. Yoga is an art of Self-realization, requiring a deep, meaningful approach and creative inspiration. Every day brings new opportunities and each lesson provides a favorable chance to use them. Every person is an artist who creates himself on the canvas of life!
Dialectical ideology of the school declares that its priority lies in commitment to fundamental spiritual values surpassing the scope of religious, national, social and other dogmas complicating mutual understanding between people.
Lessons offered by the school include practical and theoretical parts and suggest learning the basics of classical yoga which is integral in its nature. We teach preliminary and warming-up exercises along with complex yoga asanas and pranayama, mudras, bandhas and kriyas, relaxation and purification procedures (shatkarmas), mantras and meditation practices. Classes are held three times a week. A lesson lasts 1 hour 30 min.
Represented by its Director, our school has the right, granted by Sri Swami Jyotirmayananda, to train yoga teachers and issue a certificate of completion signed by Swami Jyotirmayananda or Mr Vladimir Afanasyev or both parties together.
Since June 2010, our school regularly conducts seasonal themed retreats (unique off-site workshops) encouraging students to “forget about time, affairs and concerns of everyday life and enjoy the serene atmosphere of peace, full of trust, harmony, joy, balance and the unity of soul and body,” as a participant who first visited one such retreat vividly expressed her attitude to it. Retreat is an immersion in yogic practice, learning new knowledge about oneself and the world around us and is the next practical step to uncovering the mysteries of one's mind and heart.
At the same time, the School holds monthly one day Intensive Retreats (Intensives) in Krasnodar.
Adhering to the civil line to promote cultural and spiritual development of the society, the school pursues educational, pedagogic and health-improving goals and implements them in the framework of Project Parashakti, which includes, along with practical training, research, translation and publishing activity in the field of spiritual culture.
We invite all interested parties to participate and will consider any constructive proposals on the development of our institution. Implementation of the projects will be much more successful the more support we receive from public.
Office phone number 007 861 228 96 16
Cell phone number 007 961 50 123 44