What is Yoga?
Yoga is much more than poses. Ultimately, yoga is "the quieting of the mind" so that we can realize our true selves.
Yoga is an ancient practice that combines techniques for breathing, self care, mind focus, and physical poses which can reduce stress, improve energy flow, and improve overall well-being. In Pantanjali's Yoga Sutra, he describes the eightfold path, called ashtanga, which means "eight limbs" (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight aspects are guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life:
1) Yamas (ethical standards)
1. Ahimsa (nonviolence)
2. Satya (truthfulness)
3. Asteya (nonstealing)
4. Brahmacharya (self restraint)
5. Aparigraha (non greed)
2) Niyamas (self-discipline)
1. Saucha (cleanliness)
2. Samtosa (contentment)
3. Tapas (heat; disciplined spiritual practice)
4. Svadhyaya (study of one's self)
5. Isvara pranidhana (surrender)
3) Asana (poses)
4) Pranayama (breathing techniques)
5) Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
6) Dharana (focused concentration)
7) Dhyana (meditation)
8) Samadhi (bliss, enlightenment)
How Can Yoga Help?
The practice of yoga has been proven to help with mental clarity and calmness, body awareness, relieving chronic stress patterns, and improving attention and concentration.
Is Yoga for Me?
I am a strong believer in inclusive yoga. Yoga can benefit people of all abilities, shapes, and sizes. In addition to applying the other limbs of yoga, there are many variations of poses that work for many different body types.