What is Sanatan Yoga?

Sanatan Yoga means the Eternal truth or Divine Union-Yoga that existed before creation, during existence and that will still exist after all matter has ceased to exist.

"Sanatan" is a Sanskrit word, which denotes the eternal or universal laws, and duties we need to follow in our life to attain union with absolute or Divine Consciousness. Literally, Sanatan means that which is Anadi (beginning less), Ananta (endless) and does not cease to be, that which is eternal and everlasting.

Yoga comes from Sanatan Dharma, which in modern times is known as Hinduism. Dharma means duties that we all need to follow in our life to attain our true potential. Yoga helps us to build our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness to be able to follow these eternal and ethical virtues in our day-to-day life.

The word Yoga comes from Sanskrita root ‘yuj’ means ‘joining or, adding’. Yoga is union of individual Self with Higher Self. Yogachariya Jnandev and Yogacharini Deepika primarily follow Gitananda Yoga based on ancient authentic teachings of various paths of yoga (like Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Tantra Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Pranayama Yoga, Vyayama Yoga) and Sanatan Dharma.

Sanatan Yoga is based on an approach of Complete Personality Development (Body, Mind, Soul) based on the ancient teachings of Yoga (Hatha, Jnana and Raja Yoga). Our teachings are strongly influenced by the Gitananda Yoga Tradition where we the founders Jnandev and Deepika have trained extensively in this holistic approach to Yoga.

Swami Gitananda Giri:

What are the Key Scriptures we follow in Sanatan Yoga Teachings?

Many yoga scriptures are detailing various paths or aspects of Yoga. Even though now Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Hatha Yoga Pradipika are seen as main or key yoga scriptures, but in reality, if you like to study and practice yoga as complete holistic path then, we need to look into many other scriptures.

In Sanatan Yoga we use the following scriptures as a basis of our teachings:

1. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

2. Bhagavat Gita- A Dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna

3. Shiva Samhita- a dialogue between Shiva and his wife Shakti on Yoga

4. Hatha Yoga Pradipika- Detailing Hatha Yoga practices to prepare for Raja Yoga.

5. Gheranda Samhita- Also details Hatha Yoga Practices.

6. Yoga Vasishtha- dialogues between Lord Rama and his Guru Vasishtha.

7. Shiva Swarodaya- the conversation between Lord Shiva and his wife Shakti on the yoga of breath and naris.

8. Yoga Upanishada

9. Vijnana Bhairava Tantra

10. Yoga Chudamani

11. Swami Gitananda’s Yoga Step by Step

12. Yajnavalkya Samhita

1.Yoga Sutras

Yoga is mentioned in many Hindu and Vedic scriptures such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, etc. However, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is entirely dedicated work on yoga philosophy, each of its limbs (or 8-steps), practices, obstacles, etc. The Yoga Sutras are a guide map for every human being to reach higher states of mind.

Patanjali compiled and connected many concepts, ideas, practices and principals of yoga as a guide map for Self or Purusha (individual soul) to free itself from worldly mental bondage by attaining Self-realisation or Union with Parmatman (higher self or divine self).

Patanjali is thought to have lived between 200BC to 2000BC. Patanjali was a great Yogi, attained liberation through following the disciplined path of Yoga.

The Sutra means a thread or verse. The Yoga Sutras are verses or threads of wisdom. These Yoga Sutras were written in a complex coded Sanskrita language and to explore and understand them one needs to experience each one of them through Sadhana (devoted practice). There are four chapters in the Yoga Sutras containing 196 Sutras. The sutras are divided into four chapters, or padas titled: samadhi, sadhana, vibhuti, and kaivalya:

Samadhi Pada- The first chapter containing 51 verses is about Samadhi or enlightenment, focusing on states of mind, types of Samahi, obstacles and tools like abhyasa (practice), and vairajna (detachment).

Sadhana Pada-The second chapter details Sadhana or practice in form of eight limbs, karma yoga, kriya yoga and ashtanga yoga. It details first six limbs from Yama to Dharana in detail.