Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International
Two minute meditations

Sadhana Yoga Conference

by Cintamani Musello

Sadhana Yoga Conference 2014 held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 6th -8th June 2014   was a "Latin American Congress" of Yoga and Meditation organized by the magazine Sadhana, a publication specializing in yoga, spirituality and alternative medicine (see www.revistasadhana.com) .

The conference aimed to share seeds of the ancient Lineages of Yoga, and present this tradition as a science of spiritual development rather than body exercise, as is perceive on this days. 

Interest in methods to find balance, tranquility and holistic health have grown in recent years worldwide, but even now people seem not to understand the depths and real meaning of Yoga.

About 300 participants were inspired by a richness of presentations from teachers with much experience, who illuminated the topics of yoga and meditation from a number of perspectives and traditions. 

Among the teachers this year were: 

Sri Sadhu Maharaja, a spiritual teacher of the tradition of Bhakti-Yoga. His presence conveys peace, love and serenity. He was born in the royal family of Mungir in India, being the last king of a long family succession, and grew up surrounded by wealth and comfort. In his youth he came to spiritual life initiated by his guru, Sri Radha Govinda Das Babaji, recognized as one of the great siddhas of tradition. Sadhu Maharaja took the vow to renounce, to become a monk (sannyasa), in 1996, devoting himself to share the message of love and compassion in the purest tradition of yoga.

Swami Ma Radha Bharati is a direct disciple of Swami Rama of the Himalayas since 1971 and took vows of Sanyasa (monk) in the year 2007 from Sri Swami Veda Bharati. She has a Masters in Philosophy and one in Public Policy. She has studied and taught both Western and Eastern Philosophies. For the past 10 years she has served as Academic Director of the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram in Rishikesh, India, and has been instrumental in developing education programs in the lineage of the Himalayan Masters. Ma Radha serves on the AHYMSIN (Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International) Spiritual Committee and is a mantra initiator. She teaches yoga, meditation, silence and spirituality around the world. Her classes are full of clarity and peace.

Swami Premananda Saraswati, from the Sivananda tradition, is director of the Sivananda Yoga Center of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began his spiritual journey studying at the Sivananda Yoga Association of Montevideo led by Kanti Devi, a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. He has trained and studied in Uruguay, Canada, United States and Spain.  He was initiated into monastic vows in 2006 in the Saraswati order. He is part of the team of teachers who teach in courses for yoga teachers training in different parts of the world.

Born in a yogic community and devotional in nature, Ravi Ramoneda from a young age has been trained for healing through knowledge, awareness and the power of sound. He has explored different instruments and songs of the world as mostly self-taught musical career. Ravi has a very special way, through kirtan and bhakti, of opening the heart and making accessible to all a transcendental experience.

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, United States, and growing up in Colombia, Andrei Ram studied marine biology, dance and anthropology. After a personal practice of yoga for several years, he knows his master Sri Dharma Mittra in New York, a meeting that marked the course of his life. Since then, he has dedicated his life to serving his master and continuing the spiritual legacy of the yoga tradition. He is one of the main disciples of Dharma Mittra and teaches every year classes, workshops and workshops around the globe. Considered an extraordinary professor Andrei can recognize the qualities and virtues of a true Yogi. 

The event started with a forum that centered on the topic ' The Spiritual Science of Yoga'. Gustavo Plaza, director of the Yoga Conference opened the event speaking about the depth of the Tradition of Yoga and how, today more than ever, it is important to remember the true meaning and the vastness of it. "As Swamiji Veda Bharati said in the 2012 Sadhana Yoga Conference – quoted Gustavo - “Today in the world everyone says yoga, yoga, yoga… but there’s no yoga, only physical exercise". To go deeper in our spiritual path is the main reason of this conference. And that depth will be shown in the way we treat others.

Sri Sadhu Maharaj gave two informal talks on the 'The Beauty of the Divine Love' and 'Loving relation with God' which inspire the crowd to fix their hearts and minds in the path of spirituality. 

Swami Ma Radha Bharati offered very well commented upon (by audience) conferences on Meditation and Superconsciousness, Silence and breath. People from all backgrounds of yoga (and mainly modern hatha yoga practitioners) were motivated to understand the depths of Yoga, understanding that 'Yoga is Samadhi'. The audience were able to learn special refinements of the meditation techniques that allow them to go deeper in their practice.  

Swami Premananda Saraswati, from the Swami Sivananda tradition, spoke about 'Overcoming Anger' and 'Yoga: The Art of Breathing' and emphasized  understanding Yoga as a holistic science with tools for the body, mind and soul.

Kirtan players Ravi Ramoneda and Rafa Martinez offered amazing kirtan performances and spoke about 'Voice, Sound and Chakra Dhyana'. Singing the names of God and remembering the connection to Mother Nature was an experience of all during this kirtan yoga sessions.

Yogi Andrei Ram, with his devotional and integral approach of Hatha Raja Yoga, inspired everyone to understand Hatha Yoga as a preparation for the deeper aspects of Yoga and insisted on the necessity of emotional purification, respect for others (the animals too) and surrender to the Lord (Iswara Pranidana).

Gustavo Plaza has helped organize these events and has been instrumental in introducing teachers of the Himalayan yoga meditation tradition in Ecuador.

Please see Sadhana Yoga Conference 2014 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRfjwD7Pr64



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