Here are some frequently asked questions about Yoga.


1. What is Hatha Yoga? ( Ha = Sun | Tha = Moon ) 

Let's get this straight from the get-go. Hatha Yoga does not denote a class-style but is a path of Yoga informing us on techniques, both physical and subtle, such as: satkarma, asana, pranayama, mudra, pratyahara, dhyana, samadhi. The name Akhanda Yoga is a clear expression of an integrated approach, drawing together aspects of the Yoga tradition in a modern class context and the modern Yoga practitioner.

Hatha is a Tantric word for the route to enlightenment through the manipulation of energy pathways in the Pranic body. Hatha is the union of sun and moon energy, or Ida (left) and Pingala (right) nadis (energy channels). Through the balance of right and left energy channels, the union of prana and apana, through the proper use of breath retention and bandhas, one can channel vital energy up the shushumna nadi and attain expanded consciousness, or realisation. 


2. What is Akhanda Yoga? And what are the benefits?

Akhanda Yoga is a complete and balanced practice which includes asana, pranayama, relaxation, mantra and meditation, as well as discussions and readings on the yogic lifestyle and yoga philosophy. This approach offers access to diverse teachings and techniques that the Yoga system has to offer.

When practiced and understood holistically, Yoga becomes even more beneficial and helpful for humanity in bringing harmony and balance to our lives, families and also to society as a whole. Akhanda Yoga balances a commitment to care for our physical bodies and provides guidelines for inner inquiry.

Akhanda Yoga employs the traditional yoga anatomy to guide students to experience all five Koshas (layers/sheaths) in each class. The student’s physical alignment prompts a corresponding internal alignment, allowing the physical body to open and connect to the cosmic body. One’s awareness is encouraged deeper and we begin to expand to include all layers (koshas) of the self:

  • Physical or Anamaya Kosha
  • Pranic or Pranamaya Kosha
  • Mental/Emotional or Manomaya Kosha
  • Intuitive or Vijanamaya Kosha
  • Bliss or Anandamaya Kosha

Akhanda Yoga classes are designed to draw awareness to specific koshas (layers) and guide students to experience their practice through all of these five levels of being, for different purposes.

Our teacher, Yogrishi Vishvketu is renowned for his joyful and compassionate teachings. During challenging postures, students are encouraged to smile or to find the inner smile, thus making non-competition and contentment true aspects of the practice. You will often hear his laughter peeling out through the hall, launching students into a spontaneous round of laughter yoga. His message is balance: yoga is discipline and surrender, effort and fun.


3. Where is Akhanda Yoga derived from? And why are people seeking out more authentic Yoga?

In the West, as people turn towards holistic health, contemplative traditions, meditation systems and a meaningful life, they are discovering that Yoga has much more to offer than just physical fitness. To help students on their journey to becoming whole beings, physically and emotionally healthy, and tapping into the grace in their lives, Akhanda Yoga offers holistic yoga teachings that provide students with insights into the diverse aspects of the yoga legacy, and not simply asana. 

Akhanda Yoga classes encourage participants to explore all aspects of the diverse tradition of yoga: satkarma (cleansing techniques), asana (postures), pranayama (breathwork), Vedic mantra, kirtan, and meditation, alongside contemplation of various traditions in yoga philosophy, such as Yoga Darshan (the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali).

Akhanda is a unique combination which includes a balance of teaching, discussion and practice of six traditional paths of yoga.

What are the 6 traditional paths of Yoga?

  1. Hatha Yoga | Techniques in kriya, asana, bandha, pranayama, mudra and meditation.
  2. Jnana Yoga | Vedanta philosophy and the concept of Oneness as the essential reality of the universe.
  3. Raja/Ashtanga Yoga | Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: mindfulness, meditation, and the eight-fold path.
  4. Mantra Yoga | The use of Vedic mantras for clarity and peace.
  5. Karma Yoga | Discernment of right action, and responsive versus reactive action.
  6. Bhakti Yoga | Kirtan chanting, contemplation of devotional aphorisms and the attitude of surrender.

4. What do we mean when we say that Akhanda Yoga is a ‘balanced’ Yoga practice?

In an Akhanda Yoga class: 

  • we include the diverse aspects of Yoga including asana, pranayama, relaxation, mantra and meditation.
  • we use movement in a harmonious manner, by moving the spine in all directions: forward bending, backward bending, side bending and twisting.
  • we also perform asana in all stations, standing, balancing, crouching, laying on the belly, laying on the back and inversions. 
  • we encourage a balance of effort and allowing
  • each class is themed with an intention to further encourage the student’s inward journey.

The seamless flow created avoids any extraneous movements, preventing imbalanced flexibility or loss in the Pranic energy system. The method of approaching a physical posture from a safety point of view, are as important as foundational touchstones. As yoga is fundamentally an experiential, inner inquiry, students are encouraged to be aware of both the method of approaching a Posture, and also to explore how the posture feels and manifests in their body, during any given yoga experience. 


5. Do I have to be flexible or advanced to practice Akhanda Yoga? 

The short answer to that question is: absolutely not. You do not have to be flexible or advanced to begin practising Akhanda Yoga.

The longer answer is: A Yoga practice becomes advanced when the practitioner experiences it at deeper levels of awareness, not when they achieve a certain flexibility in their body. 

Everyone’s body is different and some people are born with very flexible bodies and some not. Yoga, essentially is an internal practice. Even when we are performing Asana (postures), there are the elements of breathing techniques (pranayama), gaze (dristi), concentration (dhyana) and one-pointed focus that we must cultivate to begin to feel the most beneficial effects of Yoga. 

During an Akhanda Yoga class we begin to expand to include all layers (koshas) of the self:

  • Physical or Anamaya Kosha
  • Pranic or Pranamaya Kosha
  • Mental/Emotional or Manomaya Kosha
  • Intuitive or Vijanamaya Kosha
  • Bliss or Anandamaya Kosha

Akhanda Yoga Classes are designed to draw awareness to specific koshas (layers) and guide students to experience their practice through all of these five levels of being.

A Yoga class is not more advanced if it is more physically demanding. All Akhanda Yoga classes can be practiced at different levels of physical intensity from moderate to dynamic.