Yoga is a science, developed for the benefit of maintaining optimum health through Asanas and Pranayama. Many books and websites written on Yoga begin with the meaning of Yoga. So in keeping with the tradition I will also begin with the true nature and meaning of Yoga, the Philosophy and practice of Yoga and the benefits of being with Yoga.
The roots of Yoga and its sister science, Ayurveda, can be traced back over 5,000 years. The beginnings of yoga were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India. Yoga was mentioned in the Vedas, one of the oldest written texts. The Vedic Priests documented the practice of yoga in the Bhagavad-Gita, the Upanishads and more recently in 250BC, Patanjali, considered the father of modern Yoga, wrote the Yoga Sutras. He was the first to formulate the modern day practice of yoga and mentions the word "Asana", a Sanskrit word, which comes from the root "asi" meaning "To Be", asana meaning "A state of Being”.
In Vedic times Asana simply referred to a special seat reserved for the Guru or one of a revered status. Guru is a Sanskrit word meaning one who leads you from darkness (Gu) to light (Ru). It also referred to the place where upon the spiritual practitioner sat for meditative practices. The Philosophy of Yoga is to help us overcome our ignorance, gain true wisdom, help one achieve a certain poise of equanimity to look at all aspects of life with acceptance and serenity and to find our joy in living.
Patanjali describes condensed brief statements known as the Sutras. This system he named Astanga Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning eight limbs.
Yama: Ethical and Spiritual, Niyama
Asana: Physical Practice, Pranayama, Pratyahara
Dharana: Meditation Practices, Dhayana, Samadhi
They describe a system that allows the student to gain more control over his life, and be free from selfish desires. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning to yoke, unite or join, a union of the body, mind, breath and soul, that higher more Spiritual, individual part of us, which we are seeking to know and understand. Swami Satchidananda repeats an ancient saying:
With the connection or understanding of the Higher Self we may experience a calmer world within and greater control over our mind and our senses. Patanjali states that – "Yoga is when the self rests in its own being in our own original nature which is pure awareness".
Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita: "Perfection of our bodies means beauty, grace, strength, and being as solid as a diamond.
When the Yogi has full power over his body, he can increase the spiritual fire within, giving better health, a light body, and freedom from cravings. The body of a person practicing the regulation of breathing becomes harmoniously developed, emits a sweet scent, and looks both beautiful and lovely.
The following qualities are surely always found in the body of every yogi: strong appetite, good digestion, cheerfulness, a handsome figure, great courage, mighty enthusiasm and full strength." Is that not a good enough reason to become a dedicated student of Yoga?
Many believe that yoga is a religion. Yoga does not prescribe the worship of any specific deity or deities. Divine is defined in dictionaries as coming from or connected with God or Gods. Yoga does not give specific instructions for the existence, nature or worship. Yoga acknowledges Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion, which is a valid aspect of Yoga but it does not tell the student where to direct that devotion or the methods by which the student should do it.
We must therefore not allow Meditation to be destroyed by religious teachers who have destroyed the whole philosophy of meditation through their teachings. The spiritual benefits of Yoga are that it builds awareness of the body, the feelings, the Planet and the needs of others. Meditation promotes an interdependence between Mind, Body and Soul and brings about the concept of Oneness and Wholeness.
According to medical scientists Yoga and Pranayama Therapy is successful in treating many diseases due to the balance created in the nervous and endocrine systems, which directly influences all other systems and organs in the body.Yoga and Pranayama Therapy therefore may be a preventative and a cure.
Yoga is a Science, developed for the benefit of maintaining optimum health through Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (Yogic breath) and combined with a balanced diet and lifestyle, one that is in harmony with the constitution (Dosha). Therefore a yoga practice may be designed to assist in balancing the constitution once a dosha analysis has been completed.
A Yoga Practice should therefore combine Pranayama, Asana and Meditation which may also include chanting, to obtain the full benefit of Yoga as it was intended.
Experience the joy of moving your body through nurturing and energising postures to bring about a feeling of calm, relaxation and empowerment whilst enjoying the moment of connecting your body, mind and soul through your breath.
Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation heals the body, mind and soul. Yoga makes you feel better. It is beneficial for many ailments.
A great deal of research has proven that Yoga helps with many health conditions. It may be practiced in conjunction with other therapies with medical consultation. It is also helpful during Chemotherapy and Radium therapy. I developed a yoga programme specifically for Oncology patients which I worked with daily during my own Chemotherapy and Radium experience. These sessions are by appointment only.
Yoga creates a toned, flexible and strong body. It improves respiration, energy and vitality. It relieves pain and improves your wellbeing. It keeps you young and full of vitality.
Come and join our class and feel the difference.