2017 Yoga

Therapy  Summit 

Cutting the "Knots" of the Heart (Hṛdaya-Granthi Bhedanam)

The modern science of Depth Psychology involves an exploration of the relationship between our manifest state (at the level of thoughts, feelings, and behavior) and the subconscious impulses and transpersonal forces that influence our sense of self, as well as our perceptions and actions.

The ancient sciences of Classical and Tantric Yogaalso explore these relationships, using a complex system of microcosmic and macrocosmic symbols. At a microcosmic level, these symbol systems include prāṇa-s, nāḍī-s, granthi-s, bindu-s, cakra-s, and kundalini.  These symbolize the inner potentials of the body, speech, and mind that emanate from our inner essence:  Ātman.  At a macrocosmic level, the gods and goddesses symbolize our potential within the manifest universe that emanates from the Totality: Brahman.

Laya Yoga is an ancient and profound system of meditation that works with these symbol systems to help practitioners overcome sources of suffering and actualize their highest potential.

The Ancients said that we are caught in the sea of cyclic existence known as saṁsāra. The cause of this perpetual cycle is the bondage of Avidyā (ignorance), Kāma (desire), and Karma (action), resulting in the tension and suffering of unfulfilled desires, frustrated emotions, and distorted self-perception and identification. This three-fold bondage forms the framework of our personality. This is what is known as the Hṛdaya Granthi – the “knot of the heart.” The goal of Laya Yoga is to cut this knot.

Join Gary as he explores what this means in our own lives. Each class will focus on one of the three granthi-s as it acts in a specific cakra, and will introduce one of the three components of Laya Yoga:

Saturday Morning, Session 1
Brāhma Granthi, via the mechanism of desire, binds us to the physical world, external objects of the senses, and contact with others. Using an integrated practice that includes āsana, prāṇāyāma, chanting, and Bhūta Śuddhi, we will explore how this knot acts in the Maṇipūra Cakra, and the process of gaining freedom from desire, attachment, and identification.

Saturday Afternoon, Session 2
Viṣṇu Granthi, via the mechanism of action, binds us to the realm of ideas and feelings that justify our activity and behavior in the world. Using an integrated practice that includes āsana, prāṇāyāma, chanting, and Cakra Sādhana, we will explore how this knot acts in the Anāhata Cakra, and the process of surfacing and transforming our impulses, thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

Sunday Morning, Session 3

Rudra Granth, via the mechanism of ignorance, binds us to the sense of self as a separate time and space-bound being, and the attachment to the sense of ‘me and mine’. Using an integrated practice that includes āsana, prāṇāyāma, chanting, and Devatā Yoga, we will explore how this knot acts in the Ājñā Cakra, and the process of realizing and actualizing the Divine qualities that exist inherently within us.

Keep up-to-date with our full list of presenters, schedule, and insights on our Facebook page! 

M.A., E-RYT 500, C-IAYT

Gary Kraftsow

Register for one or more of Gary's sessions!

Gary Kraftsow, M.A., E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, has been a pioneer in the transmission of yoga for health, healing and personal transformation in the U.S. for more than 30 years. His journey began over 40 years ago at Colgate University where he majored in religious studies. He traveled to Madras at 19 where he studied the mystical teaching and practices of Saiva Siddhanta privately with a well-known mystic and scholar of south India, V.A Devasenapathi. During this same time, Gary studied the very practical science of yoga as taught with T.K.V. Desikachar, son of T Krishnamacharya.

Back in the United States, Gary studied with respected scholars, including Kenneth Morgan, a leading authority on the study of world religions, M. Holmes Hartshorne, one of the foremost scholars on Soren Kierkegaard, often described as the "Father of Christian Existentialism", Dr. Raimundo Panikkar, a scholar of world religions and a world leader in interfaith dialogue and the great Tibetan Buddhist master, Kalu Rinpoche. In 1983, Gary’s ability to train teachers in the Viniyoga lineage was recognized and he was awarded the Viniyoga Special Diploma from Viniyoga International in Paris, France.

Gary’s intention is to make the ancient teachings of yoga relevant for people with health and life challenges, and to make the wisdom transmitted to him through remarkable teachers accessible in our modern context. The potential of yoga to help any individual actualize their full potential, no matter what their health or life challenge, motivates Gary to continue to innovate and share. 

Gary is the Founder, Director, and Senior Teacher of the American Viniyoga Institute (AVI) and author of two books: Yoga for Wellness and Yoga for Transformation. He created four DVDs: Viniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum, and Hips; Viniyoga Therapy for Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders; Viniyoga Therapy for Anxiety; and Viniyoga Therapy for Depression.  He has created several digital courses, written numerous articles, and frequently delivers keynotes at yoga conferences and symposiums.