What is Yoga?
Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and is now practiced world wide. Hatha yoga being the most popular form of yoga practiced in the west.
“Yoga is a mind / body discipline which promotes health, well being, relaxation and peace of mind.”
The Sanskrit word yoga means to yoke, to join, to unite. It is the union of the different aspects of our being, the physical, mental and spiritual. It can also mean balance, harmony, integration, oneness and wholeness.
Yoga is a journey of the body and mind. It wakes up your body, sharpens your mind and clarifies your spirit.
Yoga is for everyone regardless of their age, sex, size, flexibility or state of health.
You may have come to yoga for many reasons, maybe you want to be able to touch your toes, or become a little more flexible, or maybe to find a quiet space to centre yourself and still your busy mind.
If you practice another sport you may wish to practice yoga to compliment this or perhaps you have heard it is good to help with back pain and other conditions.
You can take on board as much or as little as you wish but with steady practice yoga will begin to transform the way you move, look, feel and breathe. Even the way you interact with your friends, family and the people around you.
Yoga can be a small part of your life or as you progress with your practice you can if you wish begin to incorporate diet, posture, theories, yoga philosophy and rituals.
When you begin to practice yoga there is no fixed beginning and there is definitely no ending, it is infinite. Your practice may become deeper and more doors of enquiry may open for you to explore if you wish to.
Hatha yoga will exercise, tone and strengthen the whole person, which includes body, mind and spirit.
Hatha yoga concentrates on the physical aspects of yoga, the physical postures, breathing exercises and techniques, deep relaxation and meditation.
It is a system of yoga that combines opposite forces, the positive and negative energies, to achieve balance.
- Ha represents mind, the mental energy.
- Tha represents prana, the vital force.
- Yoga means to unite or union.
- Hatha yoga means the union of the pranic and mental forces.
There is often a misunderstanding that yoga is a religion. Yoga is not a religion it is an ancient practice of spiritual discipline. It respects all cultures, creeds and nations. Its ethics are to be found in all religions. Yoga can compliment and enhance any religious system of beliefs. It can also be practiced completely apart from religion. Yoga is a method for life.
“Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual way of life that puts reality into perspective.”
(The complete idiots guide to yoga)
“Yoga is a process of self discovery.”
(The yoga book)
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