Satyananda Yoga, also known as Bihar Yoga, was founded by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati in 1964. It’s a holistic and gentle Yoga system, not fitness-focused like Yoga as Exercise modalities such as Power Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga.
Satyananda Yoga is based on ancient Indian Yogic practices, Ayurvedic knowledge, Advaita Vedanta philosophy, as well as modern medical physiotherapy.
A typical Bihar Yoga class is made of a set sequence of Asanas (Yoga poses), breathing exercises (Pranayama), meditation, Tantric and cleansing practices, Mudras and Bandhas (energy locks and seals), and Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses).
The main goals of Satyananda Yoga are inner awareness of the Self and spiritual growth. To reach that, it also makes use of practices and guidelines of classic Yoga styles such as Kriya Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Jnana Yoga. In that sense, Bihar Yoga is considered more of a lifestyle and not an isolated practice.
The regular practice of Bihar Yoga can bring about some benefits such as mental clarity and peace, reduced physical tension in the body and reduced stress and anxiety.
The Bihar School of Yoga (BSY) located in Munger, India, offers a wide range of programs and studies related to many aspects of their Yoga practices.