|The word Yoga means union. It is the union between the body and the mind so the two can function together in harmony. It is also the union between the individual and a greater universal consciousness. Hatha Yoga (the physical path using postures and breathing) brings the body, mind and heart into harmony so we can become harmonious with every aspect of our lives.|
|Benefits of YogaWell Being and Happiness|
Yoga is a system of health maintenance that is long lasting and cultivates a sense of happiness and fulfillment. It achieves this by teaching us how to tap into inner energy reserves and generate health and happiness from within. True happiness cannot be bought-it is the result of a lifelong investment of health.
Yoga enhances the health and youthfulness of the body and clarity of the mind. Thus a regular practice can help to counter general physical decline due to ageing, negligent use of the body and/or the accumulation of excess physical and mental tension.
Enhanced Body Awareness
Yoga is a a means of becoming more familiar with your body (the inner and outer landscape) as the different Yoga postures together designed to benefit every anatomical structure, system, and organ in the body.
This process of learning how to assist the body in its healthy functioning can be very empowering. It teaches the participant how to make changes in the body,mind and emotional state and therefore take control of his or her life and health (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually).
Stress Relief and Prevention
Life today is fast-paced, competitive and stressful. When the demands placed upon us greatly exceed our habitual levels of performance or coping (whether they are physical, emotional or mental) we suffer discomfort and strain and the body’s defences become overworked and exhausted. Side effects include frustration, muscular tension (resulting in particularly back problems, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath and problems of concentration to name a few. Yoga works to free the body from the symptoms of stress. First, deep relaxation training focuses the body, the mind and the emotions – these skills are effective in countering many symptoms of stress. Flexibility exercises are helpful in preventing or alleviating muscular tension. The use of controlled, deep breathing while executing the postures helps to counter and shortness of irregularity of breathing associated with stress. It also helps to achieve and maintain a state of calmness and emotional stability, as the breath is closely linked to emotions and the state of mind.
Many forms of exercise aim to develop only the superficial muscles of the body and often neglect flexibility training. Yoga provides a comprehensive system of exercise that stretches, strengthens, tones, helps to align, and improves the health of the entire body. Yoga also develops a state of mental calmness and emotional stability. Thus Yoga is unique in that it focuses on the entire body and mind.
Many conventional forms of exercise serve purely asthetic purposes. According to Yoga philosophy, though, health is first an inner state. This means that the health of the nerves, glands and vital organs determines how healthy a person looks and feels.
What also sets Yoga apart from many other forms of exercise is the coordination of breath with each posture and movement. Working the breath in a conscious manner brings the mind’s attention into the present, to the task at hand. This helps to prevent injury as it ensures that the focus is on the exercise being done. It benefits the functioning of the lungs and the entire respiratory system and increases lung capacity, and it also benefits one’s ability to concentrate.
Yoga is noncompetitive which sets it apart from many other sporting and recreational activities. It allows each person to work within personal limits. Yoga is suitable for all age and levels of fitness, as it can be a very gentle form of exercise, or it can be rigorous, depending on the practitioner.
It is important to note that regular Yoga practice can be combined with and also serves to enhance any gym or cardiovascular training programs, sports, dance or any other activity.