I met my guru, Andrey Lappa in 2011. My first class with him was phenomenal. I realized that day I had found my teacher…I had found what I had been searching for since starting my yoga practice in 1995. What Andrey teaches is not a “style” of yoga. It is a complete “system” of authentic yoga. Read on for a description of this amazing system.
WHAT IS UNIVERSAL YOGA?
Universal Yoga is a multi-faceted system of methods that represent all the essential rules and laws of authentic yoga. Is it not about the creator of the system (Andrey Lappa), nor is it about a particular, specialized direction in yoga. It is about unifying all the methods and disciplines in authentic yoga that can be used for any and all individuals, and for any broad or specific goal.
Universal Yoga is a system based on the idea of the mayakoshas (sheaths of the self) that the physical, energetic, emotional, psychological, intellectual, bliss and karmic layers. The Universal Yoga System teaches the yogic methods that enable any practitioner to create control and balance on each sheath, between the sheaths themselves and between the sheaths of the practitioner and surrounding space (world, environment, other people). There are distinct practices related to each sheath/shell that can be specialized and individuated for any level or practice or any purpose of development.
A typical UY asana class will be oriented around the idea of creating balance on all the layers of self (physical, energetic, emotional and mental) using the three main threads of yoga practice: body, breath, and mind. The asanas, vinyasas, breathing techniques and turns on the mat, are creatively integrated while using all major ranges of mobility for arms, legs and spine. The primary goal of practice is not to target the body, but to target one’s concentration, focus and attention; to turn it all inward, creating a serenely stable inner-atmosphere conducive for awareness & personal development.
WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF UNIVERSAL YOGA?
There are four main features:
1) FIRST FEATURE:
There are four aspects of practice in Universal Yoga that never change:
• To be karmically free (7th chakra)
• To be conscious and responsible for all aspects of practice and life (6th chakra)
• To be creative in practice (5th chakra)
• To be compassionate, always (4th chakra)
Each of these aspects relate to the higher centers of the astral body (chakras), endowed to each human being.
2) SECOND FEATURE
Practitioners of Universal Yoga must use the ideas of unification, balance & control to create balance on each sheath (mayakosha), between the sheaths, and between themselves and surrounding space (others). In Universal Yoga there are practices for each sheath that can be individualized according to the needs of each practitioner.
3) THIRD FEATURE
Universal Yoga practitioners must remember to BE TRUE TO THE ULTIMATE GOAL of YOGA. If the ultimate goal is preserved then yogic knowledge will not be contaminated by personal interpretations, ego-oriented goals or yoga as a business. Each practice on any layer should bring the practitioner to an experience of the next layer.
4) FOURTH FEATURE
Practitioners of Universal Yoga must follow the traditional concept of the mayakoshas in their teaching and practice. This will prevent any individual approaches from becoming too narrow or too specialized. It will keep the practitioner on the path of TRUE balance in yoga. Once we get to the deepest layers of practice, all individual practices will be different because the karma of each person is different.