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The Vijñāna Tradition

Orit Sen-GuptaThe Vijñāna Yoga School was established by Orit Sen-Gupta in 2002 with a group of established teachers, who had been practising together with a focus on listening from the inside and working with the 7 Vital Principles.

Orit Sen-Gupta has a yoga practice spanning 30 years. She studied Iyengar Yoga in Puna and worked with Pattabhi Jois (founder of the Ashtanga lineage) in Mysore in the 80s. She studied and taught alongside Dona Holleman for 12 years and together they wrote the highly-regarded yoga text Dancing the Body of Light. In searching for a way of moving the body as one un-fragmented unit, Orit developed an approach to teaching that gave less emphasis to the anatomical view of the body (which ‘looks’ from the outside) and more attention to adhering to the inner skeletal lines and using the 7 Vital Principles. The latter are not a set of complicated, minute instructions for each pose, but rather an overall philosophy of movement and action. They allow for a simple and precise approach to asana, as well as a way to guide our attitude in practice more generally. This, Orit feels, frees us to celebrate the pure joy of moving and being.

Orit graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with a degree in Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy. Her translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra  was published in 1992, and was the first translation of this work into Hebrew. Orit believes that the research and study of yogic texts is important for the development of yoga in our times. Researching old pranayama texts, she deepened her understanding of the ancient techniques of vayu practice, publishing the important and now widely consulted text Vayu’s Gate – Yoga and the Ten Vital Winds.

Since 1996, Orit has been training yoga teachers in Israel and internationally, as well as giving regular retreats in Europe, Israel and the Americas. She lives currently in Jerusalem with her two daughters.