Hari Yoga: the yoga style that doesn't exist
Integral Yoga, Tantra, Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana and Karma Yoga, Meditation, Vinyasa, Zen, Tao, Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda, Vipassana Meditation, Nada Yoga... All this is Hari Yoga and Hari Yoga is much more.
Hari-Yoga has one core, though: understanding how to integrate spirituality into every day life, to the point in which there are no boundaries between these two things. Every kind of boundary is a mental trick, sometimes a very comfortable trick, but in any case an unreal one.
In this sense, the most spiritual practice is waking up in the morning, getting out of bed, having a shower, dressing up, getting out of home and feeling the fresh air caressing us or slapping us. And being equally grateful for the caress or the slap.
The word integral has a beautiful sound and it's pretty evocative. To integrate means to not exclude. In this specific case, we don't exclude any techniques or yoga approach, welcoming all of them and trying to understand the reasons underneath them, without 'siding' with or against them.The word Integral evokes the sense of integrity towards ourselves and the others. In particular, stopping to be slaves of our thoughts and much more stopping to be slaves of the 'feeling ourselves', with which we often justify everything, escaping from our responsibilities. Integrity means being Yoga outside the specific context of a Yoga Center and remembering that the environment around us isn't something to exploit, it's not a resource, it's simply what we are.
The word Tantra has esoteric and mysterious connotations. The history of Tantrism is still enshrouded in mystery and not completely traced. The tantric tradition has an exploratory heart, it's against any dogmatism and it can be described as a space in which nothing is taken for granted. Tantrism has given back to the body its importance. The mind/body system is no longer an enemy to fight against, nor an obstacle to overcome, it is something to take care of. Always remembering that taking care of the body is not the aim of spirituality. Tantrism is also the research of the power, of the Siddhis, and it can become very easily one of the most obscure places to loose one's way. We should never forget that spirituality is Prajna, wisdom, not power.
Not only yoga
Yoga is not the only tradition which wants to reach freedom and understanding. It's interesting to note that yoga is one the disciplines or arts in which it's very easy to loose oneself into the techniques, forgetting the ultimate essence and the goal of the practice. Understanding reality and stopping to suffer is the common basis of all spiritual traditions, from Buddhism to Taoism to Yoga, from the Christian mystique to Sufism and many others. Hari-Yoga is going beyond yoga and searching the Truth beyond truth's forms and labels.
When definyng a yoga style, we very often think to asana practice to distinguish one style from another one. Every style or physical practice can work very well. It doesn't really matter if asanas are taught with more attention to the alignments or to the breath, it's not so important to do more asanas of one kind or of another. Differences in practice is richness, but competence and knowledge of the subject is fundamental.
Big differences can be found between Hari yoga teachers. The common element is to know that asanas, in every way in which they are practiced, remain a means of physical wellness and energy increases or just a game we play, but they are neither the reason of our practice, nor the aim we practice with. Having an excellent asana practice is never sign of consciousness or understanding.
An entire book would not be enough to define meditation and after writing it we would have lost meditation essence, because meditation is silence, not words. Whatever meaning meditation has for us, I think practising meditation is absolutely useless but very important. Everyone has it own path or thinks to have one, and as far as one thinks to have one, this is ok.
(The Yoga of Sound). Mantra, Music, Tibetan Bowls are very often part of a Hari Yoga class. It seems like Hari Om attracts people liking sound as a spiritual vehicle, but it is not supposed to become a distinguishing element of hary yoga style. Differences are welcome.
The common path
Hari-Yoga offers an approach to life that recognize the beauty of every form, from the farmer's reality to the bank clerk's one. Hari Yoga tries to explain that everything can be Yoga and this Everything can also include a life on the Himalaya completely far from the world.
The only rule of Hari Yoga is the lack of predetermined rules, social fixed styles or practices, or concepts to believe in. Everybody is welcome to a hari yoga class, the only rule a teacher must have is welcoming people and letting them fell at ease.
Hari Yoga is a name, a form that refers to a No-Form (a no-form-reality). It is an empty holder that can attract your attention, if look at it on a superficial level. Come closer and look into it! What a surprise! What you find is absolutely Nothing.
No coherence, no precise direction to align to, simply chaos.
Chaos is scary and we have been told to avoid it. But what about the heart and the beauty of the chaos? The beautiful formless forms created by the ocean foam on the beach, or the veins of the stones and the tree's roots. Everything in nature is chaotic but this chaos is sublime beauty.
Hari Yoga is a big chaos with an unspeakable and unexplainable order.
Swimming into Hari Yoga, you can find techniques, practices, discipline and it extreme opposite, sounds and silence, movement and stillness. These words seems to be opposites but they are not, and none of them can exist without its opposite. What remains?
Just the Emptyness.
Once more Just the Emptyness.
Hari-Yoga is just a name, a sound that gives a transitory form to something formless. The use of words is Form, the creation of concepts is Form, our life in this world is Form. To believe that this Form has its own essence and coherence is pure illusion. Hari Yoga can get into the most different forms thanks to the person who will teach it, to the contest in which it will be taught and to the person who will practice it, but it must be clear that it's only a name, without essence, without importance.
Why shall we give a name to something that doesn't exist and doesn't have any contents?
Just because other teachers do it and other yoga traditions do it, have rules and dogmas, predefined rails to remain between.
In a sincere respect towards who prefer rules and dogmas, we have labelled our different approach, we have labelled the Emptyness to make clear that it is pure Emptyness.
The only common path is competence, intensity, presence, attention and love for what we are doing. I would add that the Lightness of Being and the Irony, to remind everyone that a boring, heavy and haughty approach is never a sign of consciousness.