Yoga is a holistic practice that develops the body, mind, and spirit. It was created more than 5000 years ago by the ancient sages of India, codified around 200 BC by the Sage Patanjali and has been modified through the generations.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “to yoke” or “union, connection or relationship.” Through the process of yoga, one connects to the mind, breath, body and spirit to become “whole” and attain a higher level of being. When you practice yoga, you harness your own innate power to improve your life.
The practice of yoga can mean a lot of things to different people. Your own yoga practice can be any or all of the following, depending on why you want to practice and how you incorporate yoga into your life.
Asana: Physical postures to build strength and flexibility so energy can flow freely.
Pranayama: Breath control to cleanse and strengthen the nervous system and increase your vital energy.
Meditation: Learn to focus, concentrate and quiet the mind.
Deep Relaxation: Release tension and stress.
Life Philosophy: Classical yoga provides good common sense guidelines for living a healthier, happier life. It includes social ethics to live in harmony with others and personal ethics to live a balanced life.
Spiritual Fulfillment: The increased self-awareness you develop from practicing yoga allows you to connect with your inner spirit and follow its guidance.
What are the benefits of yoga?
Physically, yoga can lengthen and restore suppleness to your spine; allow joints to open; muscles to strengthen, stretch and untangle; and improve fitness, balance and endurance.
Psychologically, yoga can relieve stress; open deeply held blocks; create a sense of inner calm, relaxation and well-being.
Spiritually, yoga facilitates deep contemplation and meditation, which can lead to a connection to the higher aspects of Self.