Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and can be described as a science that systematically creates harmony of the entire body, mind and spirit. “Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit verb yuj, thus meaning to yoke or to unite.
Yoga combines physical movements with breathing and meditation techniques to bring forward physiological and psychological Health Benefits. Yoga provides improved health and longevity, as well as creating a heightened level of self-understanding and awareness, thus bringing about complete liberation!
The yoga poses will stretch the muscles and connective tissue and in turn allow a better range of movement of the joints and spine. It also creates strength, tones the muscles, massages the internal organs and improves balance and concentration.
It is the only system that stretches and mobilises the spine completely to its full range.
Yoga allows us to move the spine in all its four directions, forward, backward, sideways and rotation. There is no other “sport” that does this as effectively as yoga. Think about all the sports you know and most of them use the arms or legs or both for the sport but none move the spine in all four directions to its maximum capacity as well as Yoga does. How great is that?
Breathing is obviously something we take for granted and give little thought to, yet most people don’t do it correctly. The breathing techniques (pranayama) are based on the concept that breath is the source of life and energy (prana) in the body. When people become stressed, afraid or in pain they tend to hold their breath, starving the system of vital oxygen which exacerbates the problem. Simple breathing techniques can help many health problems including pain and stress related illness.
The integration of yoga poses and breathing techniques helps one attain a steady, quiet mind and a strong, open body. The yoga poses and breathing techniques are also vital for preparing the body and mind for periods of meditation.
The combination of yoga poses, breathing, and mediation makes one more readily able to free oneself from daily pressures and stresses.
Yoga is a life-long practice that focuses not on goals and achievements, but rather on experiencing a journey towards inner peace and freedom.
To keep you feeling motivated, take a look at this YouTube video – it’s an inspirational story showing the power of yoga.