The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yui which means to yoke or to unite, to come together. By uniting the different aspects of our being we are attempting to become whole. Yoga also teaches us to become present in every action, in every moment. There are many paths to wholeness that we can take, it could be through physical practice of asana, through study and reading, through meditation – it is all yoga.
In a class we practice Hatha yoga. The word Hatha (pronounced ha tuh) again comes from the ancient language of Sanskrit. Ha means the Sun, masculine, dynamic, yang. Tha means the Moon, feminine, passive, Yin. Therefore Hatha means balance and interplay of the complimentary opposites. The actual meaning of the word is forceful, vigorous, intense discipline, which requires ongoing application and involves the body, breath and the mind, but despite the forceful and vigorous meaning, Hatha yoga also creates awareness of subtle energies.
Yoga seeks to transform the lower into the higher, ignorance to wisdom and sickness to health.
Practiced mindfully, yoga can be a truly healing, transformative practice. It works on many levels, physical, mental and spiritual and affects all the bodily systems. The muscular, skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, eliminative, endocrine, nervous, energy, mental and emotional systems. Through yoga we learn to feel and to listen to our body, turning our attention inwards, tapping into the vastness and intelligence of our inner wisdom, our greatest and wisest teacher of all.
There are many benefits which can vary from person to person. Here are just some, you may experience.
- develop stamina and strength
- become more supple and flexible
- improve your posture
- increase self awareness, confidence, mental clarity and focus
- increase lung capacity
- reduce heart rate
- feel inner peace and calm
- reduce stress and improve ability to cope with everyday stress
- increase energy levels
- and much more
“Yoga is skill in action.”
Bhagavad Gita Ch.2V.50