Yoga is a Sanskrit word that translates to mean join, unite, or merge. It is an ancient practice that is both an art and a science developed from Hindu scriptures that date back to between 800-400BC. They explore the questions of who and what we are and designed to align the human mind with the essential nature of universal consciousness as the governing force of nature.
“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self”The Bhagavad Gita
What happens with practice?
- Asana improves posture as the body becomes flexible and learns to draw strength from the core.
- Pranayama develops stamina whilst activating the parasympathetic nervous system to calm the mind.
- Relaxation enables the body and mind to let go of tension, be in the moment, and enjoy pure presence.
What about the different yoga styles?
There are now many yoga styles which may be daunting to a new aspirant of yoga. Whilst yoga is a broad subject that is divided into 4 main strands, Hatha yoga is the area we have adopted in the west. This is a physical practice with asana (posture) and pranayama (breathing) designed to maintain optimum health in the body and mind. As a style it is recognised as a traditional approach, working on each asana separately with specialised breathing techniques. Dynamic and Vinyasa Yoga are sequenced styles of yoga suited to those who wish to pursue a more aerobic practice. Sivananda Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga designed by the late Swami Sivananda in India, whereas Prana Yoga closely observes the breath as it flows through the body throughout practice. Restorative and Yin Yoga hold the body in postures for longer, for deeper muscle and fascia release.
Yoga is non-competitive
A good teacher will encourage you to develop at your own pace and steer you towards mastery of your body. With a range of yoga to suit most individuals, it is important to find the right class and teacher for you and your body. A more dynamic and aerobic style of yoga is unsuitable for someone looking for a gentle practice.
The Yoga Light Centre offers both online and studio classes with 1-1 tuition available for those wanting a more personal practice specific to their need.
“It is through your body that you realise you are a spark of divinity”
– B.K.S. Iyengar