What is Yoga?

Yoga can mean many things to many people, you can take whatever it is you want from your practice.    For some it may simply be a system of exercise to gain strength and flexibility or a way to relax after a stressful day.  For others it may be a lifestyle, a philosophy, a science or a spiritual path.   

Fundamentally, Yoga is an ancient practice of movement and breathing techniques created from the observation of nature over thousands of years for the purpose of purifying and strengthening the body and mind.  Regular practice of yoga will bring strength, flexibility, lightness, sensitivity and balance, allowing you to find the deep inner stillness that exists at the core of your being.

It is a comprehensive (holistic) form of practice uniting body, mind and breath, which benefits all the systems of the body, including:

  • The respiratory system – Our breathing pattern is altered by conscious awareness of the breathing mechanism maximising the potential use of the lungs and increasing the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
  • The cardiovascular system – Asanas (yoga postures) promote better posture, this allows the chest to open and breath capacity and circulation to increase.  This facilitates cleansing of the veins, arteries and blood vessels that serve the heart.
  • The endocrine system – Pranayama (breath control) and asanas (yoga postures) stimulate the endocrine system helping to regulate hormonal levels.  These in turn benefit the body’s response to stress, metabolic rate, water balance, absorption of minerals, sexual organs and bone growth.
  • The digestive system Many of the postures massage the abdominal viscera, encouraging digestion and assimilation.
  • The nervous system – Pranayama and relaxation promote and balance the nervous system.  Our spines are the driver of movement and yoga particularly focuses on spinal health.  The spine houses the central nervous system, the essential link between body and mind, it is also fundamental for good posture.

         

  • The immune system – Asanas stimulate the lymphatic drainage system and improve our ability to fight infection.
  • The skeletal system – Yoga’s weight bearing exercises help strengthen the skeletal system and promote bone renewal.  Muscle and skin tone improves as do muscular strength, joint mobility and flexibility.

  

 
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