Slavic yoga

Wikipedia Commons, by Dennis Yang

What is actually yoga? Fitness for lazy? Meditation technique? System of beliefs? Exercise practise?

Current practice would make old masters’ hair raise. Nowadays you can do it in sauna, holding a beer, accompanied by a goat or a cat, balancing on the board, participating in karaoke or even taking part in yoga rave. The number of modern variations is outstanding, so called Western people lost in the daily routine are desperately catching more attractive yoga innovations adjusted to the needs of XXI century.

Wikipedia Commons, by Pracar

Even though it seems as if yoga lost the spiritual meaning it’s hard not to treat the practise in a holistic manner. Quite far from laziness, it involves whole body and mind, not only strengthening the muscles, improving flexibility, soothing down but also curing if applied correctly.

If we consider ourselves people from the West in comparison with far away land of India it seems that body awareness on this side of the world was never a strong point. But is that entirely true?

Bereginya, rings a bell? Not for many, a forgotten Slavic practise that for untrained eye reminds the moves and postures from yoga. Its present form is based on ethnographic research of Giennadij Adamowicz, Oksana Sergunova , Vladislav Meszalkin and Ksenia Silajewowa. They brought bereginya back to life from the past and implemented it as a new Eastern European trend.

“This system of exercise consists of 27 dynamic poses in total, divided into three Worlds of Slavic mythology, 9 poses each – The Upper World (Prawia), The Middle World (Jawia), The Lower World (Nawia). Each of the poses represents a trait, virtue or an aspect of life, has its own symbol/sigil, as well as other correspondences (affirmations, spells, purpose). From all 27 poses, you receive a set of 7 personal exercises, calculated based on your date and location of birth. A personal set consists of 6 basic poses (2 from each of the three Worlds) + one main pose that represents your life’s purpose or mission.”*

Bereginya – goddess from Slavic mythology – as its name indicates is definitely more addressed towards women, focusing on thighs, hips, abdomen, uterus and female reproductive system not only strengthens muscles but also improves functioning endocrine system preventing development of diseases.

by Svetlana Tikhonova

Even though quite often called practise of sorceress Slavic yoga cannot be harmful for men, if at all it can be less profitable the worst. 10 minutes daily practise performed braless and barefoot in loose clothes is supposed to bring you back to the roots, regaining and enhancing the lost link not only with nature but also with yourself. Balancing between resolving health and psychic issues doesn’t seem to be that far from the basics of yoga which as a term comes from sanscrit’s yuj meaning unity.

This energy ritual passed from generation to generation, it’s much more than just a set of exercises, it’s a medicine, philosophy and wisdom of tradition where bad charm is locked down by talismans hidden in embroidered symbols.

Are you willing to try?

by Aleksandra Grzyb


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