A short introduction to yoga
There are various yoga philosophies and styles. I believe that for every student and her or his needs, there is a style. You can choose from traditional styles such as Hatha Yoga to more dynamic ones such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga, to very technical Iyengar or relaxing and restorative Yin and Nidra Yoga.
Yoga practice includes not only physical postures (asanas), but also meditation and breathing technique (pranayama). It always depends on the teacher whether she or he incorporates these into the class (some also include chanting).
The word “yoga” comes from “yuj” which means “to yoke or join“. This often refers to creating a union between the body, mind and spirit, where they blend into one during a yoga practice.
You may ask, what does the union of the body, mind and spirit exactly mean?
During practicing yoga asanas, we move with the breath, the prana - life energy.
Focusing on the breath keeps our mind sharp and helps us to stay present.
With the breath you draw attention inward, observing what is going on in the body, and you delve into self-inquiring - is there a tension or pain in my body? Where can I relax more? What can I let go? What is the mind chattering like? How am I feeling?
Hence, yoga helps us to become more self-aware.
What we are practicing on the mat - not only this self-awareness, but also compassion, acceptance and letting go - can be taken out to our daily lives.
Consequently, yoga leads to a genuine personal transformation.
Yoga is a practice of going into the within to connect the body, mind and spirit, and to experience a deeper sense of being.
For some yoga can be just a physical practice – getting flexible and strong body, others pursue yoga because of its spiritual aspects.
Many people are nowadays seeking yoga because of some chronic pains – such as back pain, neck pain, or digestive issues. Such pain is many times linked to our emotional bodies and histories, with which we can connect and explore during a yoga practice. Yoga is also very helpful in reducing stress.
Yoga aids with all of these and much more body and mind issues because it helps us to relax, quieten the mind, release tension and blockages, and creates more space in the body. In the end, thanks to the great body and mind awareness, yoga can empower us to become our best teachers and healers.
Does it sound like yoga is exactly what you need right now?