WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is an ancient system for wellness which works on many levels, transforming the body and the mind, and leading to increased awareness or consciousness. It works by stretching and strengthening the body preparing it to handle the higher frequencies of energy cultivated through meditation and pranayama techniques (breath control). Meditation and pranayama are parts of a complete and authentic yoga practice.
THE 8 LIMBS OF YOGA
There are actually 8 pieces to yoga, which is where the term Astanga comes from meaning 8 limbs. These concepts were written about in Patanjali’s yoga sutras, the first comprehensive text that explains what yoga is and what benefits you can expect to receive from it. The limbs are: Yamas (restraints), Niyamas (observances), Asana (physical aspect), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (internal focus), Dyhana (concentration), Dharana (meditation), and Samadhi (merging with the Infinite Energy that pervades everything).
Yoga’s aim is optimum health, keeping the body strong and flexible, as well as reducing stress, calming the mind to allow us to perceive our true nature as “Purusha” or Divine Self. Through the practice of yoga we can achieve a deeper understanding of the true nature of existence, and connect with our Infinite Self, beyond the body and the mind. Yoga after sincere practice, and over time, brings deep states of relaxation and helps us to handle the challenges of life in a more calm, balanced, and flexible way.