The Integral Yoga Center
The Integral Yoga Center is located on Grove Avenue at the corner of Thompson Street, inside of the Center of Integrative Medicine. Nora Vimala Pozzi founded the center in 1993 in order to promote the general internal well-being of people through the practice of Yoga. Pozzi has attended Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program and is a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. She is also certified in the fields of Advanced Hatha Yoga, Yoga for Stress Management, Raja and Prenatal Yoga, Yoga for Kids and Teens, Cardiac Yoga, and Yoga for Cancer. Pozzi serves as the Director of the Richmond Integral Yoga Teacher Training Program
The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit yuj which means to control, to unite and/or to join together. The Integral Yoga Center of Richmond operates on the concept of “Integral” Yoga developed by Sri Swami Satchidananda, who also founded its international headquarters, Yogaville, in Buckingham, Virginia. Yogaville is also the home of the Light of Truth International Shrine. In Satchidananda’s words, Integral Yoga is “…a flexible combination of specific methods to develop every aspect of the individual: physical, intellectual, and spiritual. It is a scientific system which integrates the various branches of Yoga in order to bring about a complete and harmonious development of the individual”. It inspires you “… to realize the spiritual unity behind all the diversity in the entire creation and to live harmoniously as members of one universal family.”
The Integral Yoga Center offers a variety of techniques and teachings that are intended to guide practitioners in achieving a spiritual state of being, a state in which body and mind exist as one. According to the center’s website, “Yoga tones and relaxes the entire system while bringing the mind and body into perfect balance.” The center’s website further states that “…the goal of Yoga can be summarized in three words: to be easeful, peaceful and useful” and yields a plethora of mental as well as physical benefits including “an enhanced immune system, more developed strength and flexibility, reduced stress, improved circulation, digestion and respiration, a boosted energy level and improved concentration.” Although many of the practices of the Yoga tradition are rooted in the tenets of various Indian religions, most notably in Buddhism and Hinduism, the practice itself may not be explicitly religious but rather a way of life that inspires a spiritual sense of being.
The Integral Yoga Center serves a variety of practitioners ranging from amateurs just looking to change their way of living to experts gently striving to attain a unified spiritual state of being, all the way to devout practitioners looking to advance their skills to the level of Yoga instructor. The center offers a six month teacher-training certification program as well as many different workshops, retreats and, guest speakers in order to explore the many branches of the Yoga and enhance one’s understanding of Yoga practice. The basic yoga classes are arranged in order from beginner’s yoga to continuing yoga and advanced yoga. Beginner’s yoga, or hatha yoga, revolves around yoga postures, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation and is conducted on a step-by-step basis. The next level is a continuation of hatha yoga and entails less instruction and more concentration on breathing to allow more time for introspection. In this class the postures are held longer as a way to help the student experience each pose in a deeper sense. Advanced yoga is designed to elaborate upon the yoga postures learned in the first and second level classes. More emphasis is placed on standing postures and balance. Further, advanced yoga students are required to have a deep understanding of many aspects of the yoga tradition which they will apply to the postures and breathing techniques taught in this class. The workshops offered by the Integral Yoga Center include the philosophy of Yoga, the Science of Breath, the Art of Chanting, Medical Benefits of Yoga, and the Ancient Teachings of Yoga.
Integral Yoga Center
3536 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
Integral Yoga Center website
Nora Vimala Pozzi
Profile prepared by John Feole