Born and brought up in India, Deepak started doing yoga in the age of 5 years. Being yoga championships very popular in India, he started his professional career by competing first time in his life when he was only 7 years old. He became India national yoga champion in the age of 12 years and continued to be a state and national champion for next 13 years consecutively. He is an international yoga champion and 2 times university yoga champion as well.
Deepak has been traveling and teaching yoga and has given several workshops and training programs in Europe, Asia, United States and México. Inspired by the therapeutic approach of traditional hatha yoga from India.
Deepak has developed a series of physical exercises and yoga postures which helps in building up a great deal of flexibility, strength and balance in human body. This series has helped many yoga practitioners to heal their physically injuries and advance in their yoga practice as well. He is the founder of Yogakul which is a group of hatha yoga teachers who teaches the same series of yoga postures.
Bikram yoga is a form of yoga popularized by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s in California. The patented practice involves repeating the same 26 poses in set cycles over a 90-minute class. Bikram yoga instructors go through a nine-week training program in which they learn the set practice and dialogue. Currently, there are more than 1,650 Bikram studios around the world.
The poses were chosen by Choudhury from classic hatha poses and are designed to "systematically move fresh, oxygenated blood to 100 percent of your body, to each organ and fiber," according to the official Bikram yoga site. The poses — which include triangle pose, tree pose, eagle pose and cobra pose, among other common hatha yoga poses — should be done in a specific, unchanging order, in order to achieve the desired benefits. This traditional Bikram pose series does not include inversion poses — such as headstands — typically found in yoga classes because it is difficult for beginners to do them safely. In highly advanced Bikram classes, the instructor may lead students in inversion poses.
In most classes, rooms are heated, often up to a sweltering 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) and kept at fairly high humidity (usually about 40 percent). Consequently, Bikram yoga is often called "hot yoga"; however, the two are different. Hot yoga refers to any yoga practice done in a hot room. Hot yoga rooms are often not as hot as Bikram rooms, which Choudhury referred to as "torture chambers."
Bikram yoga follows the 80-20 method and the exhalation method of breathing. With the 80-20 method, you take a full breath, assume the pose and continuously exhale 20 percent of the air through the nose. With the exhalation method, you take a full breath and exhale completely when you have assumed the pose, and continue exhaling while you hold the pose. Both of these breathing techniques are difficult, and most beginners probably will not be able to do them successfully for a while.
Yoga: Divine union. From the Sanskrit root verb yuj (to yoke, join or unite.)
Yoga developed thousands of years ago around India although the exact origins are uncertain. Yoga is for every person in every age; therefore yoga keeps changing just as time keeps passing. What ancient yogis did in dark caves many years ago may not exactly be what we are doing today, and that’s o.k. What’s important is that the essence of yoga is still here. Yoga is and always has been a way to connect us to the source.
The teachings of Yoga are based on many different philosophies and religions, but, Yoga is NOT a religion, rather it is a discipline, one that leads to ultimate freedom.
Patanjali was the first to write down the teaching of Yoga in the Yoga Sutras. Traditionally they were passed down orally from teacher to student. Each Sutra says in some way what Yoga is and how to attain that divine state. The clearest sutra that defines Yoga is sutra 1:2 Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodhah.
Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, or the restraint of the modifications of the “mind-stuff “. In clearer terms, when you can control the rising of the mind, you will experience Yoga or Union. So what then is really uniting? Well, the union ultimately happens between the individual consciousness (jivatman) and the universal consciousness (paramatman). Yoga aims at changing the individual, (that is why our practice consists of asana, pranayama, chanting and meditation). Yoga does not bother much about changing the outside world. There is a Sanskrit saying, “As the mind, so the man; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.” So whatever you think you manifest. If you think you are bound, you are, if you think you are liberated, you are! Things outside ourselves neither bind nor liberate us; only our attitude toward them does. The practice of Yoga brings clarity to the mind so that we can see and experience this. As Gandhi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world” for you cannot change the world if you cannot change yourself! Gandhi was a great Yogi, and his practice was Karma Yoga, or selfless service to others. He also studied many great texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, so he was also a practitioner of Jnana Yoga.
Most westerners practice Hatha Yoga (postures). There is also Bhakti Yoga (devotional/chanting), Jnana Yoga (knowledge/study), Karma Yoga (service), Kundalini Yoga (awaken the shakti), Raja Yoga, also known as Ashtanga Yoga, (8 limb path); the list goes on and on. It really doesn’t matter what you practice, as long as what you do is focusing the mind and leading to that state of Yoga or now as we understand it, divine union.
Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati defines Yoga as “a state where nothing is missing.”
I found this definition very interesting. In a way we are not trying to reach some supreme state outside of ourselves, for then we are saying we are not enough, but rather we are discovering that place inside ourselves where we feel complete.
While writing all of this I began to get frustrated in seeing that Yoga is not as simple as we might think it is. Yoga is so much more than just going to class for 90 minutes. In feeling this frustration I asked a few people what Yoga meant for them. One said that Yoga is an experience, something that draws you deeper into your own self and cuts through all the “nonsense” of the world. Another said that yoga is a supreme state of being. Another said it was finding a place of peace within oneself, and yet another said it is breathing and moving and just feeling good.
Recently I went to the city and took a yoga class, and I left feeling not so “yogaish” I didn’t have that deep inner stillness you sometimes get after a really awesome class, and that was ok with me. Later that same day I went to a dance performance at the Joyce Theater, and what I saw and experienced was Yoga! I said to myself, they are experiencing Yoga and I can feel it!
After I began to understand the meaning of the word Yoga a bit more or rather internalize it a bit deeper, I stopped being so frustrated. I realized that you cannot “do yoga”. Yoga is a state of being that you find after you take an amazing class, or after you have chanted, or after meditation, pranayama or even after you take a quiet walk in the woods and just look around at the beauty.
Ultimately you can “do” anything and at the same time experience yoga.
So if we all say, “yeah I do yoga,” then a good question to ask yourself is what does Yoga mean to you? So that Yoga can become something more then just going to class.