Introducing Shumit Vatsal, Yoga Teacher from the Shivananda lineage
Shumit was born in the small town of Salem in South India in a family where bhakti and karma yoga was practiced regularly. Shumit formally got certified as a Yoga Siromani “Jewel on a crown of yoga” at the International Sivananda yoga ashram in India.
He practices Vipassana meditation daily and often does 10 day silent retreats yearly. For Shumit, the spiritual lineage is of utmost importance and he teaches classical Hatha yoga as purely as possible, based on his own study and years of practice, associated with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers and Ashrams.
He is inspired by a desire to communicate with others in a more meaningful way, and to help others overcome individual fear and find peace. Shumit only teaches what has been taught. He believes that when teachings are transmitted purely from teacher to student and so on, without much influence of individual egos, we can be more certain of the efficacy of the teachings.
Through meditation, I have a higher understanding of death than the normal person. I believe people need to be comfortable learning about death and the yogic philosophy has a lot to teach us about it. The festival story is extremely touching especially in how it reaches into yoga to understand a deeper cosmic pattern around life and death.
It is a great platform to teach authentic Hatha yoga and spread the gist of the practice which is serve, love, give, purify, meditate and realize.
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The festival will receive the gift of a yoga session and a kirtan session in this community gathering…
The discipline with Hatha Yoga
This class is a traditional, slow paced, meditative class that helps encourage proper breathing, flexibility, strength and vitality in the body while calming the mind. Because Yoga is a spiritual system with a physical component, this non-competitive approach helps the practitioner gain much more than just a healthy body. A typical open level class includes pranayama (breathing exercises), warm-ups including Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar), 12 basic asanas (postures) and deep relaxation. The focus is on mastering the basic asanas from which variations are then added to further deepen the practice. The asanas follow an exact order that allows for the systematic movement of every major part of the body in a balanced way that enhances prana or life force energy, keeping the mind quiet and without the need to think beyond each individual pose. Bring a blanket if you have for a good shavasana.
The path through devotion - Bhakti
One method to control the mind is the path of Bhakti, devotion or unselfish love. Bhakti yoga is one of the paths of yoga and is love for love’s sake. Kirtan is one of the key components of Bhakti yoga and is the easiest, surest and quickest means to center the mind. Kirtan is surrendering to something bigger than us through devotion (bhava), love (prem) and faith (sraddha). In Kirtan, people join together and sing verses in a common place with accompaniment of musical instruments such as harmonium, cymbals and drums. Kirtan is an excellent method of soothing the nerves and directing the emotions to a positive goal. It is a powerful mental tonic and gives us strength to face the difficulties that life throws at us. Kirtan is a form of music and music is nada yoga – the yoga of sound. The musical notes and the Sanskrit words vibrate in the subtle channels (nadis), purifies them and awakens the psychic and spiritual power dormant in them. Bring a percussion instrument if you have one.
Introduction to Vipassana
A talk and a follow-on for questions and answers.
We are very excited to receive Shumit as part of the SAMSARAFEST story.
Festival schedule can be found here - https://www.samsarafest.com/schedule-1/