The Latin root of the word Yoga is traced to the word 'Yoke' or 'Union'. Yoga works on bringing into harmony and uniting all aspects of your being; physical, mental, emotional & energetic. A holistic practice providing many benefits for mind, body & spirit. Whichever area attracts you to yoga, in time you will receive improvements in the other areas too as each effect the other- "It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence." B.K.S Iyenger. Yoga is coming home to yourself, your whole self.
Within each of us is innate peace and contentment which is clouded by the restless mind. Relentless thinking about past and future causes anxiety and habitual living. By solely focusing on your breathing and the alignment of the pose you develop an awareness of the present moment. This mental state of stillness
creates a clarity from which you can become aware of the 'mental nutrition' you are providing yourself throughout the day. Which thought narratives are you replaying in your mind? Taking the time to find stillness inside and out leads to relaxation and causes alpha brain rhythms which not only act as a natural antidepressant it calms the central nervous system & endocrine system, improves memory, elevates mood and perspective as well as strengthening the immune system & prepares the body for optimal physical performance.
"The goal of Yoga science is to calm the mind, that without distortion it may hear the infallible counsel of the inner voice." Yogananda Paramahansa
Through the poses and breathing exercises Yoga provides many benefits for the respiratory system and hormonal system. The flow of electromagnetic energy is increased throughout the body which brings healing to the whole central nervous system. Posture, flexibility and strength are improved. Yoga is particularly beneficial for those with back issues, fatigue and digestive issues. The body is much more than just a physical entity, our thoughts, habits and memories are stored within the tissues causing stagnant energy resulting in inflexibility, poor metabolism, injuries and illnesses. Yoga flushes toxins from the body and balance is restored throughout the emotional, energetic and physical systems.
"Body is not stiff, mind is stiff.” Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois
Through quietening the mind and becoming absorbed in the body and breath, Yoga allows us to detach from the ego and connect to the part of ourselves which is just consciousness, just energy - an awareness removed from identifying with personality, job, status and expectations. Connecting to our spirit or soul is transformational, realising we are infinite and perfectly imperfect just as we are. The more often we are in this state, intuition, confidence and trust in life increases. Connecting to our spirit connects us to our hearts and supports us in living from a place of love and compassion rather than fear and judgement.
"Yoga is when every cell of the body sings the song of the soul." B.K.S Iyenger