Thoughts and Facts about Yoga

Many people are turning to Yoga to find cure for chronic health problems and attain a peace and balance of the mind. They are also curious about knowing what exactly is Yoga and what are included in it. Many of us are aware of the health benefits of the physical activity. People often want to know about the origin and exact definition of Yoga. It is a popular belief that Yoga merely includes stretching and warm up exercises. Yoga does include this but also involves moving the body with the breath and keeping yourself aware of a mind/body connection.

Originated in India, Yoga typically means union between the mind, body and spirit. It involves the practice of physical postures and poses, referred to as Astana in Sanskrit. The ultimate aim of practicing Yoga is to create a balance between the body, the mind and the breath to attain peace and calm.In order to accomplish this, Yoga uses different movements, breathing exercises, relaxation technique and meditation. Yoga is associated with a healthy and active lifestyle and a balanced approach to life.

The oldest physical discipline in existence known, Yoga brings stability to the body and the chattering mind. It increases the lubrication of joints, ligaments and tendons of the body. Studies in the field of medicine suggest that Yoga is the only form of physical activity that provides complete exercise to the body, because it massages all the internal organs and glands. This reduces the risk of many diseases. Yoga can create a positive permanent change in the life of the student and it is noticeable very soon from beginning to practice.

Yoga is a perfect way to ensure health and physical fitness. Through meditation, breathing exercises (called Pranayama) you can diminish and learn to manage stress and lead a healthy life. People suffering from muscular and bone degeneration are often suggested to do Asanas that concentrate on providing exercise to the muscles at the strategic locations. Pranayama in conjunction with the Asana helps facilitate stability and a level of calm.

What is most noticeable is that the student practicing yoga can physically see and feel is that its positive effects on the body and mind. Another positive aspect about Yoga is its wide choice of Asanas. Depending upon the stamina and overall health, you can choose from practicing yoga in a chair to gentle floor stretches to high intensity Asanas. As long as a student is aware of their body and does not go too deeply into poses injury can be avoided. Students will want to consult with the instructor who hopefully has been trained to assist in safety and modifications. Additionally, the instructor should promote this as a general discussion during the greeting and beginning of class. In the west especially, it is recommended to take yoga classes from a teacher who has gone to a school that is registered with the Yoga Alliance. You will want to look for a teacher that has gained a certification from the school and has individually registered with the Yoga Alliance.

Anne Gourley Registered Yoga Teacher & Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider