Samarya Yoga upholds that yoga is a state of knowing peace through connection to self, others and the universe. It places as much emphasis on yoga philosophy as on yoga asana – the movement and poses we commonly think of in the West.
Samarya Yoga stresses the importance of community, diversity, deep self-inquiry, healing, and transparency, and values the idea of “living your yoga.” We believe that the application of yogic concepts in all aspects of life is yoga’s most powerful offering.
There are several aspects of the class that define Samarya Yoga.
First, all Samarya Yoga classes begin with a dharma talk – an example of a specific aspect of Yoga philosophy, but always linked to an everyday occurrence, something that has happened or been observed in the teacher’s life, never simply a didactic lesson in yoga. These talks are always opened up to the class or community for discussion, encouraging a sense of yoga as a living practice in all students. This topic then, is expertly interwoven throughout the class to illustrate the connection to yoga on and off the mat, in a very real, tangible and practical way.
In a Samarya Yoga class, every student is encouraged repeatedly to listen to his or her own body, and to modify poses in any way that the individual feels best suits their current physical and emotional condition. Certified Samarya Yoga teachers are able to easily adapt classes to all levels of students and to intelligently include all types of bodies and conditions. Samarya Yoga teachers practice and refine their languaging as an integral part of their own practice and teaching, moving away from any language that serves, overtly or not, to separate and create hierarchy. All students are included with a joyous, friendly and deeply compassionate attitude on the part of the teacher. Samarya Yoga teachers are some of the most friendly, genuine, down to earth, unpretentious people many students experiencing yoga will ever meet.
Samarya Yoga teachers are also known for their abundant and skillful adjustments, providing depth and care for students in all of their postures, including savasana. A Samarya Yoga teacher rarely, if ever, corrects a student. It is a central tenet of Samarya Yoga that a student knows his or her own body and psyche, and there is no greater need in this world than for a person to feel completely worthy and whole. Unskillful adjustments can cause a student to feel unworthy, corrected, or out of place. Skillful adjustments from Samarya Yoga teachers are intended to create connection- between student and teacher, student and self, and the student community as a whole.
Finally, Samarya Yoga teachers are deeply committed to recognizing and sharing the privilege of feeling unconditionally loved and accepted, and seek to promote this experience through teaching yoga to underserved and marginalized communities. All certified Samarya Yoga teachers are required to complete 100 hours of service (need not be yoga-specific) in order to apply for certification, and must provide a minimum of 50 hours of service per year in order to keep their certification.