The Akhanda Yoga approach emphasizes a balanced class including a full repertoire of yoga techniques. All Akhanda Yoga classes are structured systematically yet artfully to align the physical, energetic, mental/emotional and intuitive self through the five elements of practice and the five energetic principles. Akhanda Yoga has a variety of class styles for different times of day, inclinations and purposes: Akhanda for Beginners, Intermediate and Dynamic, Five Koshas, Inner Reprogramming, Hatha-Raja, and Classical Kundalini.
Akhanda Yoga balances a commitment to body mechanics with guidelines for inner inquiry. Yogrishi Vishvketu is renowned for his joyful and compassionate teachings. During challenging postures, students are encouraged to smile, thus making non-competition and contentment true aspects of the practice.
Five Akhanda Elements of Practice
Five Akhanda Energetic Principles
Ha-Tha refers to the union of sun and moon, or Ida and Pingala nadis. Through the balance of right and left energy channels, the union of prana and apana, through the proper use of breath retention and bandhas, one can channel vital energy up the shushumna nadi and attain expanded consciousness, or realization. Hatha is thus a Tantric code word for the route to enlightenment through the manipulation of energy pathways in the Pranic body.
Hatha Yoga does not denote a class-style or pedagogic approach, but is a heritage path of yoga informing us on the techniques and physical and subtle workings of: satkarma, asana, pranayama, mudra, pratyahara, dhyana, samadhi. The name Akhanda Yoga is a clear expression of an integrated pedagogic approach, drawing together aspects of the yoga tradition for a modern class context.
Akhanda is a unique combination which includes a balance of teaching, discussion and practice of six traditional paths of yoga.
Techniques in kriya, asana, bandha, pranayama, mudra and meditation.
Vedanta philosophy and the concept of Oneness as the essential reality of the universe.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: mindfulness, meditation, and the eight-fold path.
The use of Vedic mantras for clarity and peace.
Discernment of right action, and responsive versus reactive action.
Kirtan chanting, contemplation of devotional aphorisms and the attitude of surrender.
Akhanda Yoga employs the traditional yoga anatomy to guide students to experience all five koshas (layers/sheaths) in each class. The student’s physical alignment prompts a corresponding internal alignment, allowing the physical body to open and connect to the cosmic body. One’s awareness deepens and expands to include all layers of the self: physical, pranic, mental/emotional, intuitive, and pure awareness. Classes are designed to draw awareness to specific koshas (layers) and guide students to experience their practice through all of these five levels of being for different purposes.
The assumption here is not that the class is more advanced if it is more physically demanding. All classes can be practiced at different levels of physical intensity from moderate to dynamic. A practice becomes advanced when the practitioner experiences it at deeper levels of awareness. Checkpoints, or the method of approaching a physical posture from a safety point of view, are important as foundational touchstones. As yoga is fundamentally an experiential, inner inquiry, students are encouraged both to be aware of checkpoints, and to explore how the posture feels and manifests in their body during any given yoga experience. Each class is themed with an intention to further encourage the student’s inward journey.
Akhanda 1 evokes the physical and energetic levels of awareness.
Akhanda 1 classes offer a moderate sequence of the most familiar and accessible postures and breathing techniques, and can be enjoyed by both beginning and continuing students. The classes introduce the basic principles of alignment, breath, sound, yogic wisdom and relaxation. Yogic phrases will be introduced as themes to thread a guiding message through the class. You will come away with tools to help you move with greater ease, and use breath both to uplift and calm your whole system.
Akhanda 2 evokes the energetic and mental / emotional levels of awareness.
Akhanda 2 is designed to inspire intermediate students through more dynamic asana, pranayama, and mantra themes. These techniques work together to deepen your exploration of body mechanics and inner alignment, uplift your energy system and refresh your outlook. You will become more aware of how sequences balance the chakras and the solar and lunar energies of the body. Mantras and yogic aphorisms are used as themes through the classes and anchor the final meditation.
Akhanda 3 cultivates a connection with bliss.
Akhanda 3, sometimes referred to as Akhanda Flow, provides unique and dynamic sequences woven through the sun salutation. As all Akhanda practices are balanced, the intensity of strong, uplifting asana at the beginning of a class are mirrored by surrendering, grounding postures at the resolution. Classes also further explore the bandhas and breath retention for the direction and expansion of prana. Mantras and yogic aphorisms are used as themes that run through the classes and anchor the final meditation.
Classical Kundalini is a truly unique style developed by Yogrishi Vishvketu in 2003 to initiate students into Tantra Yoga. Classes focus on the subtle energy systems of the body and work to balance the solar and lunar channels. They feature asana, oscillating movements, Tantric and Vedic Bija mantras, chakra visualizations, and dynamic pranayama techniques to clear the energy passageways and chakras, aligning you with cosmic prana. You will come away with greater clarity, vitality, and peace.
Hatha-Raja is another very special class style developed by Yogrishi Vishvketu in 2003. Classes offer a sequence of moderate postures practiced in a slow and mindful way in conjunction with Brahmaree Pranayama (honey-bee breath) and conclude with a natural meditation. Performing Brahmaree during postures helps to lengthen the breath and releases stress at a cellular level. The postures chosen influence the pineal and pituitary glands of the brain, which balances the hormonal system and calms and uplifts the mind, bringing you more easily into meditation.
Yogrishi Vishvketu designed this profound class style in 2005. Five Koshas classes explore and deepen your connection to the five layers of being, physical, pranic, mental/emotional, intuitive, and pure awareness. By repeating a short sequence three times, these classes focus on individual layers, gradually bringing your awareness inside and allowing you to go deeper and deeper until all that remains is bliss.
Pranayama roughly translates from Sanskrit as “extension of prana (breath/life force)”. The breath is our main source of life energy and in yoga, pranayama techniques are used to raise, balance, and expand the field of that energy. In these classes you will have the opportunity to learn more about the practice and purpose of diverse pranayama techniques, such as Anuloma Viloma, Kapalabhati, and Brahmaree, each with their own unique benefits ranging from calming to cleansing and energizing. You will come away with more confidence to include pranayama in your home practice.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep” is a meditative practice that brings students into a state of complete relaxation between waking and sleeping. The Akhanda approach to Yoga Nidra directs your awareness to each part of the body, alternating right and left, through the medium of the third-eye. This balances the hemispheres of the brain and cultivates intuition. Setting an intention enhances the practice and assists in manifesting deep wishes and purifying outmoded habits. Yoga Nidra is extremely beneficial for anyone suffering from stress, anxiety, insomnia or alienation.