I thought I would share with you the simplest interpretation of Yoga which I have ever been given.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a process or practise whereby we begin to become more & more aware of ourselves in terms of body, mind & spirit.
What are the different paths of Yoga?
The main paths of yoga are: The path of Meditation (Raja Yoga); The path of pure devotion (Bhakti Yoga); The path of discrimination (Jnana Yoga; The path of selfless service (Karma Yoga) & the path of body, breath & life energy (Hatha Yoga).
What are we practising?
Hatha Yoga: The science of yoga which tries to harmonise the body, the mind & the soul by working through postures, breathing exercises & relaxation techniques.
The approach is to connect firstly the body with the mind through the 100’s of postures, then the mind with the breath through breathing techniques, then the conscious mind with the sub-conscious mind through mediation.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
Forward Bends are calming & invigorate the digestive, absorptive & eliminative systems of the body
Back Bends can be stimulating& improve the health of the heart & coronary system
Twists squeeze& massage the internal organs & may act as a detoxifier
Inverted postures clear our heads & counter the effects of gravity on the body organs
Relaxation (Savasana) techniques, like sleep, rejuvenate the whole body system, eliminate toxins from the body & allow nutrition to flow into the cells.
Why are breathing techniques encouraged in Yoga?
In Yoga, you should breathe only through the nose, unless specifically instructed to do otherwise. Both inhalation & exhalation should flow through the nose. When you breathe in, you should first feel your abdomen slightly relax outward & then the outward & upward expansion of the ribs & when you breathe out, the relaxation of the ribs along with the drawing in of the abdomen. This allows maximum absorption of breath & better oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange.
What is Sun Salutation?