Yoga in Milwaukee has come a long way since we first offered classes as a non-profit yoga school over 40 years ago. It’s now part of our popular culture and a multibillion-dollar business. In 1971, you could count the number of yoga teachers in the city on your fingers. There were no yoga centers, and most of the classes were offered at the YMCA.
In spite of its tremendous growth and widespread popularity, the benefits of yoga remain unchanged: reduced stress, clarity of purpose, increased energy, improved focus and productivity, and many more. Yoga benefits people in all stages of life, from young children, to expectant mothers and top athletes. It is non-religious and can be practiced by members of any faith to deepen their connection to their own religious or spiritual path.
Looking at this growth closely, however, we find some of the best of what yoga offers has been lost along the way. In addition to its many physical benefits, yoga offers a complete and comprehensive system of meditation leading to the complete integration of the personality at all levels. A living tradition passed down through the millennia this path of meditation, called Raja Yoga, is the essence of yoga practice.
However, because of the strictly physical emphasis of most yoga teacher training, modern teachers of yoga have had very little or no training in meditation.
The Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center continues today as a non-profit. We focus on training body and breath through the practice of physical yoga, not only for its obvious benefits, but as part of a more complete system of training body, breath and mind. We offer classes and workshops in hatha yoga, meditation, ayurveda, yoga philosophy and psychology, kirtan and more.