Yoga is a lifestyle not a practice, and karma yoga is given precedence over asana.
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At the sprawling Bihar School, yoga is a lifestyle not a practice, and karma yoga is given precedence over asana. So alongside classes expect hours of seva (service) – including gardening, kitchen work and toilet cleaning – supplemented by cold showers and a simple diet.
It may sound daunting, but comfort’s loss is authenticity’s gain, and former students attest to the life-altering qualities a stint in this ashram can give. Days begin at 4am, and end with twilight satsangs (discourses) or kirtans (mantra chanting) before lights out at 8pm. Many yoga styles are taught, including Hatha, Raja (mental discipline), Kriya (breathing, chanting and ritual gesture) and yoga therapy, as well as Yoga Nidra, a deep meditative technique lulling the mind into a state neither awake nor asleep, developed by the ashram’s founder Swami Satyananda Saraswati.