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THE PRINCIPLE: Integral Yoga combines a wide range of yogic practices—doing asana, studying spiritual texts, helping others, chanting mantras, and sitting in meditation—that lead to harmony and happiness.
THE FOUNDER: Swami Satchidananda (1914—2002), an Indian monk and student of Swami Sivananda. He spread his teachings throughout the West with the slogan “Truth is one, paths are many.”
THE FACTOID: Satchidananda gave the opening speech at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.
THE FOLLOWERS: Many practitioners view the physical poses as a path to quieting the body and mind for deep meditation. Integral’s gentle poses and emphasis on meditation make it an ideal practice for the elderly, people with back pain or chronic illness, and pregnant women.
THE TEACHERS: Swami Ramananda, Swami Asokananda
THE STUDIOS: Integral’s Virginia headquarters, Yogaville, include a residential community as well as teacher trainings, workshops, and intensives for guests. There are also Integral Yoga ashrams in San Francisco, New York, and India, as well as institutes throughout the world. Certified teachers throughout the country can be found through the Integral Yoga Teachers Association.
Nora Isaacs is a former Yoga Journal senior editor.