The Full Story

the four yogas

Join us in our day to day life of meditation, singing, worship, service and study. 

 

We lead a simple and peaceful lifestyle centered around the practice of Karma Yoga (self-less service), Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Raja Yoga (concentration and meditation) and Jnana yoga (clear knowledge and discernment), making every part of our day into a spiritual practice.

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Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga is also called the yoga of service and is a way to find peace within, whatever the kind of work you are doing. One of it's highest aims is to turn work into an expression of love grounded in the understanding that we are all One; we are all God.

 

There are many stages we go through along this path of karma yoga before one can fully embody this state and you will be guided to start where you're at and to build from there. Setting a goal such as being more mindful throughout the day, having a clear and simple intention behind every action, catching your mind when you find yourself creating stressful expectations judging yourself or others, etc. are the kind of practices you might want to start with.

Often overlooked

Karma Yoga might very well be one of the most neglected of the four yogas.

 

Why so ?

 

It's philosophy is so simple and straight forward that it's easy to think we got it and move to the "higher" yogas. But very few are found who really mastered the art of being still within while being dynamicly active in the world. 

Yet, karma yoga can potentially be to be the biggest game changer in your life as we all spend many more hours in activity than in meditation or other spiritual practice. 

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga teaches you how to open your heart to God through prayer and chants and by being of service to others. It also teaches you how to hold a cheerful attitude towards all life circumstances as we practice seeing the Divine Mother’s dance and work in what others would usually label as good or bad. Until your heart brings you to the vision and the experience of the One. Bhakti yoga is also practiced actively through daily chanting to the many names and faces of God, which are embodiments of these four yoga (bhakti, Karma, Raja, Jnana) and guide us along the way.

One God, so many faces

Since most of our participants grew up in the west, we have thus expanded our devotionnal practices to include singing and worship from christianity, judaism and buddhism. 

In this interfaith bhakti yoga, it has become second nature to sing to Jesus in english after having sung to Shiva in sanskrit and then to sing blessings in Hebrew. 

This practice has shown to greatly help reach and open the heart of those present, whatever their upgringing, and bring our hearts in harmony, as we elevate our mind to the One, same God that is Love, omnipresent and transcendant. 

Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga is where many western yogis start their path :

 

Meditation, how to quiet the mind and concentrate it on a certain purpose or location in the body. 

 

Pranayama, breathing techniques that purify the mind and alter the circulation of prana (energy),

 

Hatha Yoga the well know physical yoga postures widely taught as ways to purify body mind and spirit, releasing deep psyhological structes an contribute to awakening the kundalini. 

Kriya Yoga which are sets of techniques which usually involve concentration, breath and physical movements to achieve specific spiritual progress. 

Many paths, one Goal

We touch on these topics through various classes and help every one grow from where they are according to our knowledge and abilities. ​

Through the 2 periods of 1h meditation, morning and night, we all get a great opportunity to deepen our practice of meditaiton, pranayama and kriya yoga. 

Through daily yoga performed either in the morning and the evening, we tone the body to support our spiritual progress. 

One of the roles of the heads of our spiritual director is to guide seekers in their personal practice. 

Jñana Yoga

Jnana Yoga is the yoga of wisdom and discernment. This yoga is practiced through study of philosophical texts, through introspection and the internalization of wisdom.

Ultimately, the goal of jñana yoga is to be able to tell the truth from what is false, to identify with the true Self within and realize that we are not the body, mind, emotions, intellect or other things outside ourselves. Most seekers understand this notion at least superficially, which is a great starting point! 
 

Shifting gears as needed

Jñana yoga also encompasses the study of yoga theory and the philosophy of texts from various traditions. 

Our intellect naturally wants to know, to understand. Jñana yoga provides the teachings that untimately frees us from the need to think so much to know the truth. 

We find it helpful to study from various books of many traditions as a source of inspiration.

 

As an effort to cultivate non-attachment to points of view, we jump from christian teachings to hindu teachings and then to buddhist teachings etc. This helps us realize that they are all pointing in the same direction, outlining different paths to travel up this same mountain. 

A strong and ressourseful intellect should be able to shift gears between varying levels of understanding, this helps us understand others better and also helps us to understanding our changing needs in terms of life views as the intellect gradually matures. Aware that we will at some point outgrow this or that philosophy, we achnowledge the intellect as a tool and not as our identity. 

These four yogas work hand in hand, the more open your heart is, the better you will feel while doing simple tasks as a service to others, the better your heart feels the more peaceful your mind becomes, and the calmer your mind, the easier it is to concentrate in any task, the longer you can concentrate on your chosen ideal, the closer you are to experiencing the Self-effulgent One, the Atman, the Self.