What is Yoga

The Meaning of  'Yoga'
Yoga means union. Coming from the Sanskrit word yuj which can be translated as unite, join or connect. The practice of yoga is designed to help us understand the connection between mind, body & spirit, bringing us health, balance & wellbeing. Yoga is a broad tradition. Its' ancient texts describe philosophies for life which encompass morality, exercise, health, breath control, self study, relaxation & meditation. These practices are designed to lead us towards physical, mental, emotional & spiritual wellbeing.

The Physical Yoga Practice - Asana
The physical movements of yoga are called asanas, they help us to become physically stronger & more flexible, they help us feel more balanced, comfortable & healthy.

Breathing Practices - Pranayama
There are many different breathing practices in yoga.  In our classes we will look at simple, calming & energising breathing techniques. To help us to connect with our breath, bring the mind into focus & enabling us to become calm & relaxed when we need to.

Relaxation - Pratyahara
Relaxation is an important part of yoga.  And learning how to let the body and the mind become calm & let go of tension is an essential aspect of the healing process. A Yoga relaxation is significantly different from activities that we often associate with relaxation. In Yoga relaxation we focus on allowing the awareness to move away from the usual rush of sensory perception & let the body and mind become quiet.  As our ability to relax & become quiet increases, the practice of relaxation moves into the deeper practice of meditation.

Meditation is when the mind becomes calm and yet comletely alert, it can be seen as complete awareness undisturbed by thought.  When we come into this state we experience a sense of profound and deep peace.

The Upanishads & the Yoga Sutras are key texts for yoga & some of the Upanishads are believed to be several thousand years old.  They are poetic, philosophical & inspirational.

Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a valuable & enjoyable practice for people of any age and ability, & the benefits of yoga can be felt in all aspects of our lives. 

Yoga is far more than simply a physical exercise
The practise of yoga can transform all aspects of our lives for the better