When yoga lives in your heart, you can find peace anywhere you go.”
Be your body
Be your mind
Be your breath
The word yoga is derived from the Sanscrit root-verb “yuj” meaning to bind, join, unite, control. It has its origins in the Vedas, the oldest record of Indian culture. As one of the meanings handed down over the centuries is “to come together“, “to unite”, another is “to tie the strands of the mind together”.
We are then speaking of the physical interpretation of the word yoga “coming together” by doing the “asanas”, or physical postures, while also directing our thoughts inwardly toward the more comprehensive meaning of yoga, its precepts and the yogic philosophy. The goal is to bring life to one’s yoga practice and bring one’s yoga practice into life – a concept and aim both on and off the mat.
Mastering yoga is NOT about being extremely flexible; it is a combination of flexibility and strength, while bringing one into a heightened state of relaxation and concentration – goals that assist us in our daily living. It brings more balance, harmony, and stability into one’s physical movements, posture, breath, attitude and behaviour.
The sequencing of asanas, or positions, called “vinyasas” lengthens and strengthens all of the major muscle groups of the body, stimulates and tones the internal organs, while clearing and focusing the mind. By distributing the work evenly throughout the posture, it begins to feel more equalised, not localised and brings about a total systemic workout, both body and mind.
Using the yogic breathing techniques called “pranayama”, one becomes more adept at holding the postures and becoming one with the breath, which takes one to a deeper level of relaxation and eventually, heightened awareness, mindfulness and consciousness. When we begin yoga – whether physical, by way of asanas, pranayama, or meditation, or by studying the Yoga Sutras, we become aware of the holistic nature of our being, realising we are made of body, breath, mind and more. Yoga begins on the mat, but continues beyond just our bodies.