Universal Yoga

Don't die undeveloped. Do Universal Yoga.
I rather start an article about the Universal Yoga with the most famous slogan of this style practitioners. There, basically, it may be finished, as the phrase writes itself. The prominent Master of modern yoga Andrey Lappa also has no need of being introduced, however, it holds for people who are somehow or other already connected with yoga. I hope my readers who are unfamiliar with the Universal Yoga will learn new and interesting information and be inspired to practice. Except this, according to my observations, such yoga style is little known in Bulgaria. I'd like to make good the deficit, taking into account that I myself underwent teacher's certification course of Andrey Lappa and had a unique possibility to obtain vast theoretical and practical knowledge about yoga in general and about the Universal style in particular from the Master himself.

The Universal Yoga is a result of more than 30-year personal practical and teaching experience in yoga of Andrey Lappa, systematized in his author's style. This is a scientific complex approach, based on authentic understanding of yoga, coopted the best of the most powerful and interesting schools of such world-known yoga teachers as T. Krishnamacharya, K. Pattabhi Jois, B. K. S. Iyengar, Tibetan Himalayan Yoga, as well as author's techniques and practical findings, not occurring in any other system.

The Universal Yoga is based on ancient Indian knowledge of the structure of the human being according to Vedic concept of shells: organic, power, psychic, mental, spiritual, causal and absence of form as well as key laws of these shells energy conversion. The universal techniques allow conscious achievement of purification, development and harmonization at each shell level, between shells inside a human, as well as between human being as shells system and environment. It's beyond doubt that it's possible to work with each separate shell and to achieve results. But such practice, from a point of view of necessary timing and peculiarities of modern social person's life, is hardly real. That is why the Universal Yoga applies maximally complex and conscious approach to construction of training sequences.

Basic principle of body work in the Universal style is an idea of development of the following physical limits: static force and endurance, dynamic force and endurance, flexibility (active, passive and active-passive), coordination and reaction. For each of these development trends there are own training substyles and combinations thereof, sequences of different levels of complexity, corresponding to certain aims and possibilities of those practicing.

As to development of flexibility and stimulation of the main energetic zones of a body (marmas) a special attention in the Universal Yoga is paid to a principle of harmonic and equal influence on ALL possible DIRECTIONS of MOBILITY of all joints and their connections, applying different schemes and sequences of exercising, which also may form a specialized resulting effects of the practice.
The Universal Yoga contains a lot of original techniques and methods. One of authoring of Andrey Lappa is the unique ASANAS FOR ARMS, not existing in any other school. Creation and application of these asanas correspond to the principle of influence on the body in all possible joint zones in all available directions of mobility.

Multi-level algorithm of VINYASAS, which is widely used in the sequences, is a complex of motive-breathing exercises, executed in all positions of a body and directions in space, allowing preservation of awareness and control at each moment of the practice, minimizing by-movements between asanas, developing at that the dynamic force and endurance, as well as providing for a necessary energetic balance.

The Universal Yoga practices include also Pranayamas, Mudras, Bandhas, Drishtis, Yantras and Mantras, special methods of conscious and energy balancing in order to create a certain psycho-energetic state. Of course all these techniques are mastered gradually and stepwise under the guidance of an experienced Teacher
One of the brightest elements of the Universal Yoga personally for me is psycho-energetic MANDALAS. These are sequences, aimed, first of all, at creation of certain internal psychic effects and resulting state. They principally differ from the specialized trainings, aimed at working out of one or several directions of exercises with physical body: force or flexibility, balance and coordination. Mandala is a structure, having characteristics of symmetry, centripetency and multidimensionality (conceptual and spacial), certain order of body turns in space (rotation on cross mat), balance of positions number, sequence logic and kinds of body work-out, stages of increase and discharge of concentration, contemplation of intermediate effects inside the practice, visualization of colors and energetic centers. Turnings in space around 90, 180, 270 and 360 degrees allow cleaning up the subconsciousness from basic tie-ins and expand the psycho-energetic range. Balanced space structure influences significantly on physical, power, psychic and mental shell of the one practicing.
Dance of Shiva
Special consideration is given to one more direction of the Universal Yoga – DANCE OF SHIVA, movement practice based on Indian, Chinese and Thai dancing and martial arts. This is absolutely unique technique known from the ancient times, elements of which are used in training of Shaolin monks, but brought into the unified system with methods of practical training and mastering by Andrey Lappa namely. Dance of Shiva develops and trains coordination and reaction, unidirectional attention concentration, rate and accuracy of thinking. It's difficult to overestimate the benefits of this practice. One more slogan of those practicing the Universal Yoga goes: "If you do not know what to do, do Shiva Nata".
Creativity, Awareness and Freedom
To this end I'd like to tell about the most important principles being the basis of the whole practice in the Universal Yoga. They are CREATIVITY, AWARENESS and FREEDOM. These principles mean that the one practicing, having mastered the standard sequences, included asanas, vinyases, pranayamas etc, as well as realized the algorithm of new static forms and dynamic combinations development, sequences construction, transfers to a level of creation and practice of spontaneous intuitive combinations, new forms and movements. After all, on the basis of knowledge and practical experience obtained, creative element in practice becomes a decisive one for individual training programs development.
"The Universal style is a living science. I do not believe that someone has already had the last word in yoga technology, in the teachers' instructions given once for all (…) Unless and until thinking beings are alive, until they have intuition the development process won't finish. Being aware of the general mechanism, you'll be able to do with your practice anything you want"

© Yoga. Tradition of unity. A. Lappa

Victoria Pekarchuk

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