Experiential Yoga               Dr M.V. Bhole




Yoga Anubhava means Experience of and in yoga.  Most of the time, people are seen practicing various yoga techniques in a mechanical way and the experiencing aspect is completely neglected and/or overlooked.  While the tradition stresses action (karma) followed by knowledge (jnana) which is to be followed by devotion (Bhakti) or making it a committed way of life (Upasana).


During visits to France in 1973-75, yoga practitioners often used to mention that they were unable to get the results as mentioned in classical yoga books.  With this background, they wanted to know and find out whether their practice was wrong or they were taught wrongly or  the claims in these books were wrong. 


Taking hint from these questions from the sincere practitioners of yoga, the study and research was directed to the experiential aspects of yoga practices.  The outcome of the work resulted in the development of “Experiential Yoga” or “Yoga Anubhava”.  It was based on understanding the yogic concept/s and how the concept could be experienced with the help of suitable yoga technique/s. 


In India, yoga is being integrated in the education system of the country from 5th standard.  Generally stress is given on asanas which are practiced as exercises.  Competitions in asanas at the state and national level are becoming more and more popular.  Sometimes, breathing practices are introduced where emphasis is given to oxygen consumption and carbon-di-oxide output under the name of pranayama.  Other aspects of yoga training, such as self-perception, self-realization, self-purification are getting neglected and overlooked. A question arises, “Is this yoga or there is something more than asanas and breathing manipulation in classical yoga?” 


Yoga system is supposed to be based on Samkhya Darshana.  Its opening verse refers to the threefold suffering of human beings and overcoming this suffering.  Thus yoga seems to have treatment (upa-chara) value even though many yoga experts and yoga associations are seen to deny it.  Thus Experiential Yoga was also developed for helping patients suffering from psycho-somatic disorders.


Emphasis is given to the following approach:

  1.    Practice, doing or action (karma),

  2.   Experiencing through knowledge (jnana leading to anubhava)

  3.   “How and Why of the practice” by referring to the classical yoga texts

  4. Understanding the concept, the technique, result of the technique and the resulting state of consciousness

  5. Individualization of the technique to get the desired result

Application of the resulting state of consciousness as “self-help” technique in stress management.

Seminars and Workshops on Yoga Anubhava (Experiential yoga) are designed to:

  1. Instruct and educate students on the line of self-perception and self-realization

  2. Guide patiens to help themselves along with other medical treatment procedures

  3. Orient yoga teachers to train them as yoga therapists