What is Yoga?

Q: What exactly is Yoga….can it help me….and do I need to be extremely flexible?

A: Yoga is one of the oldest sciences of life, as it dates back about 5000 years. Simply, Yoga encourages the body to function as an integrated whole. The word “Yoga” actually comes from the root word, “yoke” which means union- to join. The practice unifies us with all the diverse aspects of ourselves – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and also joins us with all that is- the universe/divine. By the continued practice of yoga, you will come to the greater realization of your true Self as spirit in a body. It’s why we say, “Namaste’”-“I honor the light (spirit) in you, and when you are in your light and I am in mine, we are one”. This is how people in India greet each other.

You don’t need to be double-jointed, young or thin, to practice yoga. It’s so much more than “getting into a posture”. The physical body is always in a state of present moment. So, by practicing the asanas (physical postures) and yogic breathing, called pranayama and being totally present in your practice, you bring the mind to the body in this state of oneness. It doesn’t really matter how far you can stretch. You simply move and go to where your own body dictates. Be the witness. You will find, though, that over time, the physical body will become more flexible as does the mind. That is a beautiful benefit. The postures work upon every muscle, nerve, and organ in the body. The whole body gets a massage! Additionally they help to release energies trapped in the spine and joints. We hold so muchin our connective tissues. Yoga is a very gentle exercise and is structured as an ongoing path of development, with many modifications in posturing. Thus, it is suitable for all ages and physical abilities; yoga at any stage or point in life will promote strength of body and mind, flexibility, good coordination and balance. It becomes a way of life! A wonderful peacefulness and centeredness begin to reside within your being. I have taught students of all types – those with special needs and limited range of mobilities, older individuals, college students, pregnant women and even children. All are welcomed and encouraged!

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