What is yoga anyway?
THE GIST: In this crazy non-stop go-go-go never-ending rollercoaster of life we never have the chance to stop, to just be. Yoga has a 'magical' (YES I said it!) way of grounding us as human beings. With the proper teachings and commitment yoga is how you get it all in one! An escape from reality which brings you into the truest parts of yourself which gives you the freedom to be you again . For that one hour, you are not mom, dad, boss, employee, driver, cleaner, cook, mantenance man, none of it! You can climb into the deepest parts of yourself and breathe.
Yoga is an anient form of being. In practicing Yoga you combine body mind and spirit to beome whole in equanimity.
THE REST: The definition of Yoga is the union of phyisical body (material) causal body (thought and belief) and astral body(emotion and desire) with God as according to B.K.S Iyengar, a guru worth mentioning! There is an eightfold path to reaching this state and it can never be complete for each and everyday we change. Life has obstacles and these eight pieces help bring us back to that path.
8 Limbs of Yoga
1. Yama: Our relation to others in discipline with our attitudes and behaviours.
2. Niyama: Our honest relation to ourselves in our attitudes and behaviours.
3. Asana: Physical postures.
4. Pranayama: Breath control, specifically Ujjayai to 'light your inner fire'.
5. Pratyahara: Withdrawl of the senses and everything which affects them.
6. Dharana: Fixed focus and concentration.
7. Dhyana: Clear contemplation and meditation.
8. Samadhi: Unity, eqanimity, oneness with God.
There is SO much to be derived from these 8 limbs that Iyengar went on to analyse the 196 'Sutras of Patanjali' which is considered the bible for any Yogi!
In being conscious of these limbs and their further aphorisms makes each practice a new adventure.
" Like a lotus flower that grows out of the mud and blossoms above the muddy water surface, we can rise above our defilements and sufferings of life"
Styles of Yoga
Slow Flow: Designed for all levels! Vinyasa style yoga which is designed to flow like a dance. It is gentle on joints and muscles. It is recommended to keep your eyes closed and practice Ujjayai breating to internalize your practice.
Yin: The true counterpart to Slow Flow and Ashtanga yoga which are yang in nature. Yang is active, large muscle group and joint demading style. Yin is a meridian thereapy designed to activate, lengthen and strengthen the connective tissues and fascia. Combining Yin to a physical lifestyle is necesary to achieve the physical freedom our bodeis desire. There is a short series of asanas which are to be held for 3 to 5 minutes each. Once the lactic acid burn has dissipitated the work begins. You just breathe and your body will do the work for you.
Ashtanga: Moderate to advanced Ashtanga is a structured sequence which builds and maintains heat in the body. This demanding structure places emphasis on all 8 limbs of yoga. Maintaining your balance is difficult when you loose concentration. Focus is key.