What is Yoga?
The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to yoke, join or unite. Yoga is a combination of techniques and practices aimed at integrating mind, body and spirit to achieve a happy and balanced life. It is not a religion, but a practice of personal inquiry and exploration. It is a philosophy that can be incorporated within any belief system. These practices include; asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (yoga breathing), mudra (body gestures) and meditation.
There are various schools or styles of Yoga usually these schools are established by renowned teachers or gurus and reflect their methodologies and teachings to achieve the same goal of union. Some of the most well known modern schools of yoga include: Iyengar, Astanga, Ananda, Anusara, Bikram, Kripalu, Kundalini and Sivananda.
Yoga postures are designed to create balance in the body by developing both strength and flexibility. These poses or postures, each of which have specific physical benefits can be done quickly in succession, Vinyasa Style, linking breath with movement and creating heat in the body through movement or the postures can be done more slowly to increase stamina and focus on alignment, Hatha style.
One of Patanjali’s definitions of yoga in the Yoga Sutras is,
“Sthiram sukham asanam”
An asana (yoga pose) should be steady and enjoyable. There should be effort but no struggle to maintain the pose. Be sure to relax your mind as you practise yoga. Keep your smile on your face. Keep your gaze soft. Keep the effort in your body and keep your attention present.
At Body Poetry….
We embrace all traditions and paths of yoga and our classes are designed to give you a complete yoga experience. One intention that you will find in all our classes is the philosophy of flow, integrating breath with movement creating a meditative space for the mind, body and spirit.
You are welcome to drop in to any of our classes, especially if you have had yoga experience. If you are new to yoga and hesitant about stepping into a class that may be ‘too hard’, you may want to start with our beginners classes where you will build a strong foundation, learning proper alignment of the poses, then when you feel ready focusing on linking your breath with movement and finally develop meditation and relaxation techniques uniting body, mind and spirit.
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