The Prana Vidya Retreat
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Prana Vidya is first and foremost an advanced tantric meditation. Along with other tantric meditations such as Kriya Yoga and Antar Mauna, the main purpose of Prana Vidya is self-realization. Prana Vidya, however, is a powerful method for healing.
"This retreat is a unique possibility to give yourself a rejuvenating rest!
Yoga may be harmonizing and restorative as such. Prana Vidya, however, is its healing jewel."
Prana, vital energy, is the life force behind everything in the universe. Vidya means knowledge.
Prana Vidya is a part of the yearly 3-Month Sadhana Course and now also the main practice of the 14 day Prana Vidya retreat in May/June.
The conditions for participating in the yearly Prana Vidya summer retreat is that you have been on a 10 day course or longer at Haa Retreat Center.
The Prana Vidya we teach is the method Swami Janakananda received from his teacher when living with him in the late 1960's in India. According to the tradition, it is taught under retreat conditions and as a sequence that consists of 12 parts. The teacher of Prana Vidya on the 14 day course and the 3-Month course is Swami Ma Sita Savitri.
Besides Prana Vidya, the course includes an Ajapa Japa Sadhana that supports the learning of Prana Vidya. Here, you have the possibility to immerse yourself in Ajapa Japa for two weeks. Other content: shankhaprakshalana, asana, pranayama, mudra/bandha, yoga nidra, Antar Mauna, Returning®, karma yoga, chanting/kirtan and a lecture or two. There are several days of silence on this course, during which you learn the finer parts of Prana Vidya. The number of participants will be limited.
During the practice you may use any comfortable pose, lying or sitting, as long as you can keep the spine straight.
The method is based on the psychic breath (ujjayi pranayama) and different visualizations, in a continuous meditative process. You will be working with flows of prana in your body.
When practicing Prana Vidya it is important not to have metal on the body, for instance piercings and other jewellery. Please remove all removable metal before the retreat starts.
Tantra is the wholistic science of the human being. It aims at discovering and understanding reality, inner as well as outer - through experience. Prana Vidya offers an important aspect of that discovery; deep insight into the dimension of Prana and the ability to utilize life energy for the benefit of yourself and others.
Comments from Participants:
"I have participated in the Prana Vidya course. It has been a time of deepening like peeling off layer after layer to reach the core.
The teachers keep a very high level in their teaching and you are surprised how they carefully guide the group forward day by day.
To participate in the retreat is like taking a purifying bath. I experience the world with a renewed, open mind."
"The Prana Vidya Course at Haa was a perfect mixture of hard work and relaxation. Combined with the beautiful calm surroundings, I was able to work intensely with myself. The course has given me a tool to regain energy and relaxation, which is useful in my everyday life, especially during exams."
"Sunny weather, nice food, great relaxed yogis all around, no excessive effort, almost like being in Yoga nidra throughout the whole course. The effects were immediate and powerful. I remember when we came, the dog Pricken was still there (14 years at the time) and was looking old and unwell. I was surprised to see how he had declined compared to the last time I'd been in the ashram. During the practice Swami Ma Sita asked us to send the healing energy to somebody in need. The next day Pricken was completely revived. He was running around like a Duracell rabbit. I think quite a few people sent him the energy.
After completion, I've practised Prana Vidya at home for some time. It made a big difference in my rehabilitation from the appendicitis and helped me to recover completely. I would like to repeat this course one of these days. Haa ashram is a very special place to me. In a satsang, I think Swami Janakananda said something along the lines: "Yoga does not change life, but it can help you to be in charge of your life". "
"It wouldn't be possible to learn this technique through a book since it seems much more theoretical than the way one actually experiences it. Understanding doesn't seem to help much. One has to live it. In Prana Vidya, you stay present and work from your own centre, which includes more awareness and immediateness compared to related methods from other traditions.
By the end of the course I felt transformed, was calmer and saw things in a different way. After this retreat, I feel on the one hand I have a tool for learning healing and self-healing and on the other hand I have a tool for being able to reach a more profound awareness of the subtle processes in meditation. "
"The course was fantastic. I perceive Prana Vidya as a very harmonizing method with an effect that lasts for several days.It is a powerful method that also gives concentration and clarity."
"Learning the meditation Prana Vidya made me more aware of my energy. Practising it at home on a regular basis made me more aware of how I use my energy and how I don´t. This caused changes in my life - life is becoming more and more magical."
"I was privileged to be taught all the steps of Prana Vidya during the three-month course in 1978 at Haa Retreat Center. At that point, learning this meditation technique made a strong impression on me. I was surprised how easy it is to practice Prana Vidya. At the same time, however, this meditation is one of the most subtle methods I've ever experienced within yoga. Prana Vidya has since been a companion in my practice as an everyday-yogi in my hometown of Stockholm. In May-June 2011, I returned to Haa to participate in the Prana Vidya retreat. From previous experience, I knew that retreats at the ashram usually provide me with a good deal of advice and inspiration. I was not disappointed this time either. I received even more knowledge and insight into a meditation that is very refreshing - a meditation that is extremely effective in giving clarity and wellbeing."
"Karma yoga. The rubber boots we put on made us collaborators in an expedition. My fellow-travelers were f.ex. a catholic monk, a cab driver, an engineer, a sufi. Some widely travelled, some from the nearby village. Standing in a garden, we were to make inventions, dig, build a house, and managed to capsize again and again among the water lilies. (Is it really normal for Swedish lakes? That there are so many padminis floating around?). In the darkness of the Yoga room I recognized the tranquil faces. Their eyes opened like flowers. We looked around softly and maybe we were somewhat like a meadow?
Listening to my mother saying goodnight to the brothers in the adjoining rooms. I remember the large, dark space in which my body dissolved and within it her subtle voice. In dreams we would fly.
I felt Swami Ma Sita as motherly and strong while at the same time delicate and vulnerable like a child. To thank such a teacher almost feels cheeky and somehow too rough. There are things one cannot thank for. Gifts."
"Participating in the Prana Vidya course felt like a spring cleaning of the mind. Suddenly everything appeared extremely clear.
I would recommend everyone who has learned Kriya Yoga to learn Prana Vidya - and vice versa.
Here at home there are completely other circumstances, the diet is different and I practice Prana Vidya two times a week instead of every day as in Haa. I think that is pretty good considering that I am far away from Haa´s protective environment."
"Last time I was in Haa I joined the Prana Vidya course. There was a light and relaxed atmosphere amongst all the participants. The Prana Vidya method gave me the ability to let go completely and just “go with the flow“, to reach to deeper layers of myself and see thoughts and other forms of “noise” fade away.
Prana Vidya is not just a one-time thing while you are on the course, I have also used it in my everyday life where it is an effective form of self-healing, where you are independent of others."
Yoga and the finer energy by Mira
Psychic energy by Joachim Rodenbeck
On Sadhana, on cycles in healing and learning, and on keeping Silence during the initiation in Kriya Yoga, by Swami Janakananda
The 3-Month Sadhana Retreat
Image with nadis on blue background ©1972 Sri Ramamurti Mishra