Śārīravyādhihānāya śārīramupayojayet |
mataścacalahānāya prāṇāyāmaḥ prakīrtitaḥ ||
The illness of the body can be reduced
by the right use of the body itself,
while agitation of the mind
can be reduced through prāṇāyāma.
-Yoga Rahasya of Nathamuni, Kalādhyāya, śloka
About Freedom Cole
Freedom has taught yoga since 1996. His mother runs the Yoga Healing Arts Center in Vineland, New Jersey and he was raised with Hatha Yoga. He has studied Laya Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Kriya Yoga with Hariharinanda, Ashtanga Yoga with Baba Hari Dass, Vini Yoga of Gary Kraftstow, Vinyasa with Peter Sterios, trained with Rodney Yee and Richard Rosen and practices the Chaya Samyukta of Shandor Remete. Freedom’s Yoga classes are a blend of these many styles as well as an integration of subtle body anatomy and Ayurvedic insight.
Freedom works closely with yoga scriptures like Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Shiva Samhita, Gherunda Samhita, Yoga Rahasya, and the Yoga Yajnavalka and incorporates these yoga scriptures into his teaching in a way that brings them alive. Freedom is an initiate of Utkal Vaiṣṇavism in the tradition of Śrī Achyutānanda Das who was a teacher of Yoga, Āyurveda, Jyotiṣa, and Mantra sadhana.
“Yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhara, dharaṇa, dhyāna, and samadhi
are the eight limbs of Yoga discipline.” 2:29
Freedom’s āsana classes are a mix of static Iyengar style which has a focus on alignment and internal dynamics and part mindful Vinyasa flow. This cultivates both aerobic health and body-intelligence. Prāṇāyāma and meditation classes are focused on the mindful interaction of the physical and subtle body aiming for small movements which create profound effects instead of profound movements with minimal effect on consciousness.
Yoga Chikitsā (Yoga Therapy)
Yoga Therapy is different than a Yoga class. Yoga has become an evidence based practice for specific conditions, and Yoga Research continues to grow. Freedom has a holistic approach to yoga therapy that is not just about āsana. He incorporates Āyurvedic herbal and dietary recommendations to deal with the physical body. He works primarily on prāṇāyāma and meditation/visualization practices accompanied by supportive āsana to take care of the subtle body. And he utilizes traditional rituals for disorders caused by karmic blockages. To set up a consultation please fill out the form and Freedom’s assistant will be in touch.
āsanābhyāsataḥ kecit prāṇāyāmena kecana |
āhāradhyānaniyamaiḥ kecicchāstrīyakarmaṇā ||
nivāryante’khilā rogāḥ prabalā durbalā api ||
Some illnesses are avoided through asana practice,
some through pranayama,
some through diet restrictions and meditation
and some by śāstriya karma (rituals).
All illnesses, whether simple or complicated,
can be avoided.
-Yoga Rahasya of Nathamuni, Prakaraṇādhyaya, śloka 28
Traditional yoga/vedic philosophy gives four pillars to a complete life. These are compared to the four legs of a cow, without one, the cow doesn’t get around very well. They are called the chatur-ayana (the four goals):
1. Dharma: fulfilment of purpose in life
2. Artha: sustenance, money, livelihood
3. Kāma: desire, pleasure, spouse and family, the joys of being alive
4. Mokṣa: spirituality, meditation, yoga
“Remember you cannot abandon
what you do not know.
To go beyond yourself
you must know yourself.”
Without any one of these four pillars, life begins to miss something, to have a void that craves to be filled. The greatest yogi might have high spirituality but if they are starving they will be missing something. The richest businessman might have 10 million dollar houses but will be missing something without spirituality. A rich spiritual person may seem to have it made but if they do not understand their purpose in life and are not accomplishing it, they will feel a void, an emptiness. And people go mad and commits sinful/demented acts if they are not having their kāma fulfilled in the proper manner for their being. These are the four pillars taught to uphold the fulfillment of life.
Yoga, Āyurveda, and Jyotiṣa work together to ensure that the four goals of life are fulfilled.
Āyurveda gives the proper vehicle so that these can be attained. If the body is not healthy, the being cannot even begin to achieve these four pillars. They take life, energy, and vitality to achieve. Yoga clears the energetic channels which create a healthy body and mind, as well as opens the door to the spiritual dimension of our being. By becoming more aware of the body/mind/spirit, one’s natural spirituality will awake on its own. Jyotiṣa helps guide us along showing us how to sustain ourselves financially and seeing those ups and downs, it helps us find our dharma so we understand our purpose in life. Some are born with full knowledge of what they are here to achieve, others need guidance to arrive in that place. All three sciences maintain as a philosophical foundation that we all have different needs in the above four areas. There is no best method for everyone, the Supreme method is the one which brings the individual into harmony and balance (sama).