At Vedika, we explore the ancient science of Yoga in all its fullness. After all, Yoga is not only a form of physical exercise, but also a systematic spiritual path, encompassing a comprehensive quest toward the highest states of consciousness.
The Meaning of Yoga
The word Yoga itself comes from the oldest Vedic text, the Rig Veda, and the root sound of the word Yoga is yuj, which means “to unite, yoke, or harness.” This refers to the connection of individual consciousness with spiritual or universal consciousness, the Ultimate Reality.
As a mystical tradition, yoga incorporates many sub-paths, including the Yoga of knowledge (Jnana Yoga), the Yoga of devotion (Bhakti Yoga), the Yoga of selfless service (Karma Yoga), and the Yoga of special energizing techniques involving body postures, sense-control techniques, and mind-calming methods (Raja Yoga).
Going Beyond the Physical
At Vedika, Yoga postures are taught with accompanying traditional chants or spiritual contemplations. The physical disciplines of asana and pranayama are always taught within the context of healthy Ayurveda lifestyle and students are taught to incorporate mantras, sun worship, meditation, contemplation, spiritualized food choices, balanced sexuality, and sleep.
Students are encouraged to explore deeper beyond the body into the life affirmative philosophy and ethics of Yoga. They are introduced at length to the teachings of the four paths of Yoga (Jnana, Karma, Upasana and Bhakti) from source scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, along with traditional study of the classical Yoga philosophy text – Patanajali’s Yoga Sutras.
Yoga for Atmabodha
Vedika is proud to support a return to the way Yoga was practiced by the sages by teaching from our Vedic lineage. As explained by our founder, Acharya Shunya:
“Yoga practice should not only exercise your muscles and limbs but should also infuse your body with rejuvenating prana shakti and connect you with your higher Self, which is the source of spiritual power, abiding health, and inner peace.”
Our great teacher, Baba Ayodhyanath (Acharya Shunya's teacher) was a renowned Yogi and spent several years in the Himalayas perfecting his knowledge of all dimensions of Yoga. Thanks to his teachings, Vedika promotes slow, spiritualized yoga—the opposite of the culture of speed, excess, and physicality that is eroding yoga today.
Slow, Spiritualized Yoga
Our lineage’s slow and spiritualized approach is called Yoga for Atmabodha. As mentioned, Yoga is a spiritual philosophy that comes from the ancient Vedas. Atmabodha means “awakening to the truth of our spiritual nature.”
Hence, Yoga for Atmabodha is a decisive return to the ancient roots of Yoga.
Yoga is, first and foremost, a spiritual quest. Yoga invites seekers to enter the field of the Spirit—a field of being and becoming, where anything is possible. Our great teacher Baba used to say that after you’ve held a yoga posture for some time, check in with yourself:
Are you connecting with your higher Self or not?
This is the fundamental question.
The sign of that connection with your higher Self is that you feel inexplicable peace, light, joy, relaxation, and energy spontaneously emerge from within, every time, without fail. If you are not experiencing this, then slow down even more. Hold your posture even longer. Deeply relax into the posture, without hurrying to do the next posture or to go anywhere, physically or mentally.
The deeper and longer you hold each posture—with natural breathing and a meditative attentiveness to your own body—the more your body and mind will relax into a state of profound restfulness. This is the state of Yoga for Atmabodha, union with your higher Self. What follows is physical health and an uplifted—even enlightened—mind. This is not the short-lived satisfaction of perfecting a pose. It goes beyond the yoga mat, leaping into the chitta bhumi, the field of consciousness where anything and everything is possible.
How Slow, Spiritualized Yoga Benefits You
A slow practice is less demanding on your body, and yet it is much more impactful because it calms your mind. With regular practice, you can enhance your memory and mental dexterity and improve your sleep. Regular practice also benefits your body, enhancing immunity, improving physical energy, and reducing allergies, pain, and inflammation.
According to Acharya Shunya:
"What gives a yoga practice this kind of power, is the way we connect with ourselves through each posture, the way we relate the postures to our sense of Self, the way we treat ourselves in this process, the way we experience our bodies as sacred, and the way we relax into our true nature (Atmabodha). "
A cardinal principle in Yoga for Atmabodha is that one posture held mindfully for at least a few minutes, along with accompanying breathing and spiritual, contemplative insight has greater success in altering mind-based consciousness than a lengthy practice of complex or demanding sequences. From an exercise perspective, one posture is often enough—especially since yoga moves prana subtly. And with one posture, this can happen without exhausting you.
We hope that if you already have a yoga practice or plan on starting one that you will experience the highest truth within your practice by incorporating the spiritualized approach and elements of Vedika’s Yoga for Atmbodha tradition.