ABOUT YOGA

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.  Helen Keller

Yoga’s origins date back 5000 years to the beginning of human civilization. Scholars believe Yoga arose from Stone Age Shamanism.

Seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization sites, dating to the mid 3rd millennium BC, depict figures in positions resembling a common (seated) yoga or meditation pose, showing "a form of ritual discipline, suggesting a precursor of yoga," according to archaeologists.

Hatha yoga, the physical postures that is more commonly practiced today, were depicted in yoga texts from the 1200's. 

Posture in Sanskrit is 'asana' meaning ‘pausing in steadiness,’ 'moving into stillness,' and 'sitting quietly.'

Asana brings health and lightness of body, and a pleasant posture produces mental equilibrium and steadiness.

Not merely gymnastics, asanas exercise every muscle, nerve and gland in the body – offering profound healing benefits, as well as strength and suppleness. ​

The names of asanas are significant as they illustrate the process of evolution, or the varieties of species on the Earth. Some are named after the plant kingdom – tree (vrksa) and lotus padma); some after insects – locust (salabha) and scorpion (vrschika); some after aquatic animals – fish (matsya), tortoise (kurma), frog (bheka) or the crocodile (nakra). There are asanas named after birds – cock (kukkuta), the heron (baka), the peacock (mayura) and the swan (hamsa). Mamals have inspired asanas – dog (svana), horse ( vatayana), camal (ustra), and lion (simha). Crawling creatures are included – serpent, or cobra (bhujanga); and legendary heroes – Virabhadra (warrior) and Hanuman, son of the wind. Sages are remembered – Bharadvaja, Kapila, Vasistha and Visvamitra; as are Hindu Gods, and Avataras, or creations of divine power.

 

The yogi understands that while assuming many forms - a great variety of creatures, from insects to perfect Sages – the same Universal Spirit breathes equally through all. By recognizing that the highest form is that of the Formless, the yogi finds unity in universality.

Benefits of a regular Yoga practice


Hatha 

  • Strengthens and tones the body

  • Improves flexibility and circulation

  • Increases stamina

  • Calms the mind down by inviting us to synchronise movement with breath

  • Removes tension and obstacles in the body to allow breath and prana to flow

Gentle Stretching & Yin Yoga

 

Gentle stretching has been scientifically studied and proven effective in reducing anxiety, depression, metabolic syndrome, chronic pain, and a variety of other dis-eases.

  • Stimulates the meridians (energy channels) bringing balance to the organs in the body

  • Improves flexibility and joint mobility

  • Calms and balances the mind and body

  • Reduces stress and anxiety

  • Works deeply on the connective tissues

  • Can prepare the practitioner for meditation practice

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga taps into the parasympathetic nervous system; the branch of the NS responsible for “rest and digest”, and turns off the sympathetic NS “fight or flight” branch which is the state most of us in this high-speed, super-stimulated, tech-distracted,
stressed-out world are living in!  Tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system is ideal because this is when our body is in healing mode; allowing our body to rest, digest and relax.


Benefits include:

  • Improved memory and mental clarity

  • Enhanced mood states

  • Superior sleep quality

  • Boosting of the immune system with improved capacity for healing and homeostasis

  • Increased flexibility due to release of muscle tension.

  • Gentle yoga practices also foster qualities of compassion and acceptance toward self and others.

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