April 16 – May 14, 2022
The Yoga of Unconditional Love - Introduction to the Practices of Bhakti Yoga with the Narada Bhakti Sutra
5 WEEKLY SESSIONS, Saturdays, 2:00-4:00pm ET
All of life springs from love. The origin of all life is love. All of life seeks love.
What is the goal of life? And how is life sustained? The goal of life is also love and it is love that sustains life. Every creature on planet Earth knows love; there is not a single creature that is devoid of love. The art of Bhakti (devotion) is the art of bringing love into all corners and crevices of your soul, heart, mind, physical body, and external world. By transforming one’s internal perspective, the practice of Bhakti allows one to see everything with the pervasive color of love.
Bhakti Yoga is the path of yoga that is also known as the Yoga of Unconditional Love and the Yoga of Devotion. It is prescribed to those who are interested in finding ultimate peace and joy through the cultivation of unconditional love and complete devotion.
Bhakti Yoga has been used for millennia by yogis and sages as a method for overcoming negative emotions, deepening one’s meditation practice, and reaching enlightenment. Many of us have grown accustomed to experiencing negative emotions in our daily lives, especially over these last two years of global challenges. The ancient spiritual practices of Bhakti Yoga help us to transmute emotions like stress, anxiety, anger, depression into higher emotions like lasting joy, compassion, love, gratitude, and patience.
In Sanskrit, bhakti comes from the root bhaj, which means “to adore or worship God.” Bhakti Yoga has been called “love for love’s sake” and “union with the Higher Self and the Divine through love and devotion”. In these turbulent times, it is considered the easiest path to self-realization. The theory and practices of Bhakti Yoga can be found in the 84 aphorisms of the Narada Bhakti Sutra, an ancient Vedic text on Bhakti Yoga, which include the 5 modes/practices and the 9 bhavas/mental attitudes. The cultivation of these practices and attitudes helps one to achieve the experience of oneness with everything, otherwise known as God-realization or self-realization.
Throughout this experiential course, we will:
- Delve into the 9 practices of Bhakti Sadhana such as singing kirtan, performing puja (rituals), japa (mantra chanting), listening to stories, acting in service, and cultivating a relationship with the Divine
- Learn to incorporate the 5 bhavas such as: relating to the Divine in a peaceful way as a beloved master, close friend, child, and lover
- Explore the teachings of other traditions, highlighting similarities in the multiple religions of Love
- Receive personal guidance on how to create a special place for your Sadhana (such as an altar) to help you establish a Bhakti Yoga practice that is readily available in the comfort of your own home
P. S. If you cannot attend the live sessions you can access the recordings. This course is approved for 10 hours towards Yoga Alliance Continuing Education!
What you will learn:
Offered as 5 weekly sessions on Saturdays, Apr 16, 23, 30 May, 7, 14 2:00-4:00pm ET
This program is offered live through Zoom webinar with the availability for students to interact through Q&A with the presenter.
For enrolled students, a video recording will be available after each class in the event you miss a class or would like to review the content.
It is possible to register and take the course at any time. You can catch up on any classes you miss with the recordings.
Requirements and Recommendations:
Rukmini Chaitanya is a senior staff member of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas, and the personal assistant to Swami Swaroopananda, the Acharya, or spiritual director of the Ashram. She regularly teaches the Bhagavad Gita during the Sivananda Yoga Teacher training as well as other courses on the Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta, positive thinking, meditation, and yoga philosophy.
Rukmini Chaitanya is known for her enthusiastic and inspiring teaching style as well as for her devotion to the lineage and the scriptures. She is dedicated to each of her students and has an innate desire to share knowledge with them. She brings a great deal of clarity to every topic and is highly appreciated for her capacity to unfold complicated topics and present them in a coherent and pure way.