Yoga is the broad term for a physical, mental and spiritual discipline which originated in India. It involves a wonderful journey of self discovery which helps us to realise our full potential as individuals and to live life in a fulfilling and peaceful way.
The word, Yoga, is derived from Sanskrit which is the classical language of Hinduism, one of the most ancient languages in the world. The word itself means ‘union’ or ‘join together’ and yoga is a process that seeks to unite body, mind and spirit. In western culture the term usually denotes a form of yoga called Hatha Yoga.
The word Hatha comprises two parts: ‘ha’ which signifies ‘sun’ and ‘tha’ which signifies ‘moon’. Hatha, therefore, represents opposing energies: hot and cold, male and female, positive and negative. Hatha Yoga seeks to attain the union of body, mind and spirit through the practice of physical poses known as asana, breathing techniques known as pranayama, together with relaxation techniques and various forms of meditation.
In Hatha Yoga the student practices with ‘respect’ and ‘mindfulness’ and so creates a deep awareness of the physical self while reducing the risk of sustaining injuries. The use of different breathing techniques aims to quieten the mind; infuses every cell in the body with oxygen and nutrients and enriches tissue and organs. Deep relaxation techniques help release tension and alleviate anxiety. Meditation practices allow for the discovery of the ‘still’ and ‘serene’ space within each individual where our deeper wisdom resides.
Yoga is a lifelong journey; a process of integrating and balancing body, mind and spirit leading to peace, harmony and self awareness. As a discipline it enables self-knowledge. A ‘mindful’ focus on the breath in each asana (or physical pose) calms the mind and body and facilitates balance and strength. The process heightens awareness, reduces stress and generates a sense of being as ‘one’ with the universe.
Yoga is a discipline for everyone; irrespective of age, sex, race, religious belief, weight or flexibility. Its practice is easily regulated to suit every individual. It can be gentle or aerobically dynamic. It is always beneficial when practised correctly.
We benefit physically from the practice of Yoga but we also benefit mentally emotionally and spiritually.
During each Yoga class different Yoga postures or asana are explored in tandem with breathing and relaxation techniques. The environment is tailored to be welcoming, completely non-competitive and non-judgmental.