What is Yoga?
Yoga focuses primarily on the physical postures called "asanas", breathing exercises called "pranayama" and meditation. Spirituality, not religion, is a strong underlying theme to most Yoga practices. The beauty of Yoga is in its versatility, allowing practitioners to focus on the physical, psychological or spiritual, or a combination of all three.
Yoga is... an ancient system which unites the body, mind and spirit through the use of postures, movement, breath and mediation techniques to strengthen and open the body and improve posture while promoting peace of mind. Yoga provides a holistic approach to achieving balance in our bodies and in our lives.
Yoga is not... a religion; however the practice of Yoga may be used to enhance your spirituality and connection with your higher power.
What does "yoga" mean?
The word "yoga" is derived from the Sanskrit word "yuj," which means "to unify" or "to yoke." Yoga's origin includes a whole body practice attempting to "unite" the body, mind and spirit. Achievement allows us to find out more about ourselves, leading to a sense of contentment.
How did yoga begin?
Yoga began in northern India more than 5,000 years ago. Developed by ancient sages of India, yoga was not written down for many years later, but instead passed down from teacher to student. About 2,000 years ago a philosopher named Patanjali (known as father of yoga) began to organize and write down the principles of yoga. His Yoga Sutras are still studied and referenced today.
Who can practice Yoga?
Virtually anyone can practice Yoga, regardless of fitness level or special need. A trained Yoga instructor will assist by modifying exercises to fit each students' requirements. Yoga can be practiced on it's own or as compliment to other forms of exercise or sports.
Should a teacher be certified?
At this point in time, anyone can teach Yoga, with or without the appropriate training. When deciding on a Yoga class, make sure you are comfortable with the instructor and that he/she is qualified to teach Yoga with a minimum of 100 hours of training. During your Yoga session, a properly trained instructor should closely monitor your practice for safe alignment and proper breathing as well as offer modifications, whenever necessary.
Why should I practice yoga?
Yoga provides a balanced and holistic approach to achieving good physical and mental health. Yoga addresses all aspects of your health and well being -- breathing exercises help you learn to breathe more efficiently, improving circulation and nerve supply. Meditation can clear the mind and help you stay calm and focused. Yoga poses can provide many physical benefits such as increasing flexibility, strength and endurance.
What should I wear to a Yoga class?
You want to dress comfortably. Clothing should not be binding or tight. Stretchy material or non-binding waistbands are recommended. The breathing exercises and movements are intended to increase heat in the body. Therefore, you will want to dress in layers and should you feel too warm, you can remove a layer of clothing. During the final portion of class your body temperature may drop. Blankets are offered, but if you are naturally cold blooded, make sure to have additional layers of clothing, if necessary.