Power In The Unexplainable: A Profile With Saul David Raye
“Truths are one, Paths are many”. -Mahatma Gandhi
By Gordon Roach
Saul David Raye holds International retreats and teaches at yoga festivals worldwide. His classes integrate Bhakti Yoga (yoga of the heart), chanting mantras, and working with the movement of energy (Prana) in the body. As a teacher Saul places an emphasis on yoga philosophy and yogic lifestyle. When I first sat with Saul, I wanted to know more about where his influences and teaching style comes from. After taking an intensive with him at Shakti Fest, I realized his offerings are like nothing I’ve ever been apart of.
Turns out, he’s studied with many different teachers, under many different traditions. His core background is in Yoga and Buddhist practices, and as time moved on, the study of Yoga for Saul evolved into understanding the path of Tantra. Saul has also studied under multiple shamans and worked within the Mayan tradition, and the Kabbalistic tradition.
All this being said, Saul doesn't claim any linange. He believes they are “a tricky thing.” His method comes from sharing from an authentic place of teachings that have impacted him throughout life. When asked about what the word Yoga means to him he mentions, “Yoga at its core is rooted in the science of Prana.” The breath being a doorway. He then goes on to say, “when you look deeper into Prana Vidya which is the knowledge or science of Prana, the whole idea of Yoga as a practice revolves around the movement of Prana.”
Speaking more on this topic, Saul eloquently shares that most, not all Yoga in the west tends to sacrifice the deeper essence of what ancient Yoga is. “As a culture the west tends to make things more popularized or expedient, and can focus on Yoga solely as a physical posture practice.” Saul continues “whichever style you do, if you begin to breathe more deeply, and focus on slow deliberate movements centered from the breath, this is where it starts to become more integrated.”
Shifting the conversation toward his Bhakti roots, Saul explains that Mantra Yoga is one of the primary doorways into meditation. He explains, “when you really look at all the texts, The Vedas, The Upanishads, the core teaching is about LOVE. Loving Universe, Loving Goddess, the Lord of Love.” He says without sharing Bhakti, the experience doesn't come across with the same heart and soul.
Saul takes me into the mystical aspect of mantras and mudras (hand postures) which have a certain power and vibration. These ancient Yogi masters found these mantras and mudras to have power, and are able to take you into altered states of consciousness. “There is inherent power in sound. We can uplift people or put people down with our words.” He compares chanting specific mantras as a sound based asana. “If one can keep the door open, there is something mystical, unexplainable about them.”
To learn more about Saul David Raye, visit www.ritamhealingarts.com.