Svaroopa yoga: What is it, and what are the benefits of practicing Svaroopa?
Yoga comes in many different forms –not just one variety, as many people believe. One type of yoga you may come across is Svaroopa yoga. Here is why this form of yoga differs to others and the benefits of practicing Svaroopa yoga.
What is Svaroopa Yoga?
The word ‘Svaroopa’ comes from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, an ancient yoga text. One passage in the book states, “Tadara Drachtu Svaroopa Vasthaanum”. Translated, this means you will enjoy the bliss of your own being when you quiet your mind. The word ‘Svaroopa’ translates as ‘bliss’.
This form of yoga was originally developed by Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati, who was formerly known as Rama Berch. Although she teaches yoga in accordance with ancient traditions, her unique approach focuses on the spine as a path to consciousness. She is the President of the Yoga Alliance and also the founder of Svaroopa Vidya Ashram.
How Svaroopa Yoga Differs From Other Forms
There are three main ways in which Svaroopa yoga differs from other varieties.
- Svaroopa yoga is a healing yoga.
- Svaroopa yoga makes use of props to support the body in different postures. Most other forms of yoga rely on the body alone to achieve the different asanas.
- Finally, Svaroopa is an individualized program. This means that it is adapted to each person according to their age and physical abilities.
The Aims of Svaroopa Yoga
As Svaroopa yoga is a healing yoga, the main aim and purpose of Svaroopa yoga is to relieve tension in the body. This is achieved through ‘core opening’. A secondary aim is to give a sense of bliss to a person with a focus on reducing stress.
The Physical Benefits of Practicing Svaroopa Yoga
Like most other forms of yoga, there are physical benefits to practicing Svaroopa yoga. Primarily, this type of yoga improves suppleness, posture, and flexibility. In turn, this will benefit many aspects of physical health. These include muscle, bone, and joint health.
Furthermore, practicing Svaroopa yoga can actually prevent many problems relating to joints and muscles from occurring in the first place. As yoga reduces stress, people who practice Svaroopa are likely to have better cardiovascular health. As a result, they are likely to have a steadier heart rate, lower blood pressure, and improved circulation.
Many of the asanas focus on the spinal cord. This helps to lengthen the spine and create spaces between the vertebrae. The benefits include fewer back problems, a reduced risk of recurrent headaches and better sleeping patterns.
Finally, Svaroopa yoga helps the digestive system. People who practice this form of yoga are less likely to experience problems with their bowel movements, abdominal cramps and bloating. There are certain asanas that will specifically improve these problems for a person who experiences them regularly.
While many people practice yoga to prevent health problems, it is also useful in relieving the negative impacts of existing conditions. People who suffer from chronic physical health conditions, such as arthritis or neuromuscular diseases, can relieve many of their symptoms by practicing Svaroopa yoga.
Mental and Emotional Health Benefits
Svaroopa yoga also has many benefits to a person’s mental and emotional health. Predominantly, this is due to relieving tension in the body that results in a person experiencing less stress. Therefore, it is a fantastic activity for people who suffer from stress and other related conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
As the focuses of Svaroopa yoga are developing self-awareness and achieving a state of bliss, it makes sense that practicing this form of yoga will achieve a greater sense of overall emotional well-being. It helps you to relax and stay calm, not only during a session but in many life situations.
In addition, practicing Svaroopa yoga increases your energy levels and this impacts positively on your emotional well-being.
Although Svaroopa yoga is somewhat different to other types of yoga in the sense that it uses props, many of the principles remain the same. Likewise, many of the physical, mental and emotional health benefits are the same as many other varieties of yoga. The overall effect of practicing Svaroopa yoga will have a positive impact on both your well-being and your life in general.