Dru Yoga is an ancient style of yoga that has been passed down through the generations and presented in a form that is very much applicable to modern lifestyle in the West. It was brought over from the East in the 1960s by Mansukh Patel, who had been raised in that tradition since birth.
“Dru comes from the Sanskrit word 'dhruva' which refers to the stillness that can be experienced through our practice of Dru Yoga. In this stillness we are able to sit back from anything that may be happening around us, however challenging, and act from a point of inner calm and clarity” explains Mansukh Patel.
Dru Yoga is characterised by soft flowing movements practised in conjunction with directed breathing, visualisation and affirmation. This allows one to consciously activate not only the physical body but also the deeper aspects of its being. In doing so, one boosts all functions of body, mind and intellect and experiences a heightened sense of positivity and empowerment. Healing and transformation take place on a very deep level.
Stages of Dru Yoga
There are several keys that enable one to unlock the subtleties of Dru Yoga. They have been developed and refined by Mansukh Patel over his many years of practice. The fact that they all seem very simple shouldn't blind people to the fact that they are all very potent. The first principles one learns to master are:
Creating a continuous flow of movement and breath throughout each stage of practice to help release latent energy more quickly and completely.
Learning how to use the breath to direct awareness to specific regions of the body in order to release tightness and pain and so energise and heal where necessary.
3. Soft joints
Keeping the joints soft during movement enables the body energy to flow more freely and so enhances the healing potency of each posture.
4. Core stability
Upholding the correct function of both the movement and the postural muscles to improve the spinal alignment and posture by maintaining a balance between stretching and strengthening movements.
5. Spinal wave
Encouraging the free flow of cerebrospinal fluid and therefore effective communication between the brain and all parts of the body by deliberately focussing on enhancing the natural wave-like movement of the spine with each movement.
6. Dru Points
During and after the flow of movement there are points of stillness. By becoming aware of these points one is able to tap into the deeply healing energy of the stillness.
What can one expect when going to a Dru class?
When founding Dru Yoga, Mansukh Patel was seeking to create a practise for all; everyone is warmly welcomed and catered for no matter what their age, size, state of fitness or experience. Safety is an all-important feature of classes and anyone with physical difficulties will be given help in adapting the posture to suite their specific needs while still gaining maximum benefit.
All Dru Yoga programmes begin with activations - fun movements designed specifically to prepare the body for the postures that follow.
Then comes an Energy Block Release (EBR) sequence - a speciality of Dru Yoga. A series of very effective EBR sequences has been developed by Mansukh Patel to dissolve the physical, mental and emotional blockages that could otherwise prevent one from experiencing the full benefits of the postures.
Flowing postures and movement sequences come next, each movement having a specific healing effect on the body, mind and emotions.
Relaxation, possibly followed by a short meditation, brings the class to its conclusion on a deeply healing note.
Dru has grown to become one of the largest yoga training schools in Europe. Its rise in popularity is due to its accessibility to everyone as well as its effectiveness at relieving the enormous pressures and stresses of modern life.
Specific benefits are numerous and include improved strength, flexibility, bone density, immunity and recovery from illness and injury, reduction in weight and lowering of blood pressure, as well as many more subtle markers such as enhanced peace of mind, confidence, happiness and personal growth.
Recent scientific research indicates that Manuskh Patel’s Dru Yoga is significantly effective for reducing back pain and stress in the workplace and for rehabilitation and injury prevention among professional athletes. As a result, Dru Yoga is now being integrated into schools, hospitals, businesses, government agencies and professional sports.