Yoga is a holistic health practice that originated from ancient India, dating back around 5000 years. The effectiveness of Yoga has made it one of the most popular health practices today. Most people are drawn to yoga for its advantages to the physical body. The regular practice of yoga benefits the 10 systems of the body:
◾Skeletal – building bone structure and lubricating joints
◾Muscular – strengthening, toning, alignment, flexibility
◾Circulatory – cardiovascular, increasing blood & oxygen flow in the body
◾Respiration – increasing lung capacity and control of the breath
◾Digestive – building the digestive fire, massaging the organs of digestion
◾Eliminative – cleansing of organs involved in the process of elimination and increasing nerve energy flow
◾Endocrine – balancing gland flow, including the pituitary, pineal, thyroid and parathyroid.
◾Nervous – increasing nerve energy, spinal chord balances, nerve toning with breath
◾Pranic – contacting and controlling the energy body; increasing breath flow and life force
◾Mental – improving concentration, attention of the mind, focus and awareness
Anyone can do yoga, regardless of age or physical limitations. However, some postures (or asanas) may need to be modified for certain physical conditions. Be sure to let your yoga teacher know of any health or physical conditions you may have.
studio3Yoga is not a religion, but an art form that includes all of life and asserts the importance of bringing about a deeper understanding of oneself – body, mind and spirit. Through the practice of yoga, one moves out of a dull, mechanical existence into an exciting adventure of living and learning. Yoga can assist you in expanding your potential in all areas of life. Most of the time, we live outside of ourselves, more concerned with what is happening on the outside and in the world around us than what is happening on the inside. Yoga brings awareness to the individual of how they are processing the external influences of life and whether they are internalizing those experiences which later may manifest as disease in the body. The practice of yoga liberates the physical and mental body from these manifestations and allows the release of negative energy and emotions. Yoga also brings balance to the body and an awareness to the individual of how they are living in their body. Imbalances within the body, especially postural and pelvic related are the culprits of much lower back, hip, knee and foot pain that so many people experience today. The body is a magnificent machine, but it must experience movement in order to continue functioning well. Yoga is that movement in a non-violent, healthy and restorative way.
Today one hears of many types and forms of yoga, but since its ancient beginnings, the practice of all physical postures in yoga is HATHA YOGA. As a comparison, you may walk into a popular java shop and there are many choices from espresso to cappuccino and lattes – but it is all coffee. In yoga… it’s all HATHA. Using the language of Sanksrit “Ha” means Sun, “Tha” means Moon, representing the polarities of the universe. Yoga means “unity” or to unify and to make whole. Hatha Yoga is the process of bringing the body and the mind together in unification and making one whole in body, mind and spirit.
Eight Limbs of Yoga
The art of Yoga includes all of life and asserts the importance of bringing about a deeper understanding on oneself – body, mind and spirit. Yoga dates back thousands of years and there are 8 limbs to Yoga, which include:
◾Yama = Abstinence (end of hostility, non-stealing,non-violence, strength of will, non-possession)
◾Niyama = Observance (purity, contentment/happiness,mental strength, study of self)
◾Asana = Postures (hatha)
◾Pranayama = Yoga of Breath
◾Pratyahara = Turning the Senses Inward
◾Dharana = Concentration
◾Samadhi = Super Consciousness