What is Yoga?
The personal definition of yoga is as abundant as it is diverse. Yoga is defined many ways to each individual due the uniqueness of their journey. However, the fundamental goal of a classical yoga practice is to discover inner peace and Self-Awakening; to tap into one’s most authentic and pure Self.
Yoga is defined as “union” from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means “to join” or “to yoke”. This union is both physical and spiritual in essence. Classical yoga focuses on aligning body-mind-spirit, which are often disconnected due to prolonged suffering, stress, and/or lack of awareness or presence.
The practice of yoga utilizes three major elements: poses (Asana), breath work (Pranayama) and meditation (Dhyana). Both Asana and Pranayama allow one to root down in body and breath, which focuses the mind and reduces the chaos of everyday mental chatter. One can stay in a seated meditation with more ease and clarity after asana.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
The following benefits are not a complete list of what an individual may gain from practicing yoga. However, these benefits are some of many advantages:
- Clarity of the mind
- Boost the immune system
- Increases blood circulation
- Relief from stress and anxiety
- Muscle gain
- Increased focus and attentiveness
- Oxygenates the entire body
- Weight loss
- Increased vitality and overall energy
- Stretches entire body
- Increases metabolism
- Decompresses the spine and lower back
- Strengthens and tones the entire body
- Builds endurance and stamina
- Strengthens balance and control
- Increased flexibility
- Reduces anger and frustration
- Helps with overall digestion and relieves digestive discomfort
- Corrects posture
- Alleviates tension and tightness
- Detoxes inner organs
- Stimulates the endocrine and lymphatic system
- Relieves symptoms of menstruation and/or menopause