In yoga exercises, one stretches the muscles gently and without force. One maintains the stretch for some seconds without incurring strain or pain. In this way, the muscle fibers and tendons will slowly yield; their tonus is changed, and over time they become somewhat elongated. This kind of cautious stretching is easily combined with a calm and unrestrained breathing.
For Elia Camacho, it took time before she finally decided to learn to meditate. “I had heard about meditation, but did not start before I moved from Mexico to Spain, after talking with a friend who had some experience. I chose Acem Meditation because it is non-religious.”
Acem School of Yoga teaches a simple, classical meditative yoga – different from many modern, more dynamic and forceful versions of yoga practiced today.
It is the oldest yoga school in Norway, founded in 1968, before the first major yoga wave reached the West.
A summer retreat is a fascinating experience, an effective antidote to stress and tension, and a great source of energy and renewal. It is also an opportunity to explore habitual patterns that trip you up in everyday life, and to access hidden resources for work and personal relationships.
Meditative yoga is very different from the hurried, sweaty, gym-like yoga of many schools around the world. It brings the mind to silence and focuses on slow movement yoga with abdominal breathing for maximum relaxation. Says founder of Acem School of Yoga, Dr. Are Holen, in a recent interview.
After the successful publication in English of the full-colour version of Meditative Yoga: integrating body, breath and mind on Dyade Press earlier this year, a black-and-white Indian version was launched by Motilal Banarsidass in New Delhi in October. The authors Dr. Are Holen and Mr. Torbjørn Hobbel were present, as were a number of Indian dignitaries.
How old are the practice and ideas of yoga? Hindu traditionalists would say yoga dates back to mythological times and the god Shiva himself. Not quite so, according to the German documentary film "Der atmende Gott".
The recently published Meditative Yoga: Integrating Body, Breath and Mind by Are Holen and Torbjørn Hobbel differs from other yoga books. It spells out in concrete and lucid detail how yoga can provide a meditative impulse in everyday life. It contains beautifully (and usefully) illustrated stepwise instructions for more than 60 postures and practices, as well as a number of yoga programmes for different levels.
The word "yoga" can designate many different things. Physical exercise tends to be associated with health and competition, and many people understand yoga in much the same way. An alternative view sees yoga as a meditative practice that helps set free a spontaneous impulse towards meditative deepening. The crux lies in a relaxed practice and an open awareness.
An American group is campaigning for the recognition of yoga's roots in Hinduism. But an American scholar is arguing that modern postural yoga was invented in the 19th century, as an incredible mix of Euroamerican and Indian ideas and physical cultures.