magical yoga

What is yoga?  The origins of Yoga are shrouded in the mists of time. It is believed that the ancient wisdom known as ‘the supreme science of life’ was revealed to the great sages of ancient India 3-4,000 years ago and it still uses the ancient language of Sanskrit for all the posture names and the different systems of Yoga.  This vast body of knowledge, when practised through these systems can lead to greater health, mental control and, ultimately, self-realisation.

THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH

ONE STEP

There are many forms of Yoga but the best known in the Western world is Hatha Yoga, which concentrates on the physical body as the way towards self-realisation, teaching us that gaining control over the body is the key to controlling the mind.Hatha is a compound word, ‘Ha’ meaning Sun and ‘Tha’ meaning Moon. This refers to the balance of life – male and female, left and right, joy and sadness, inhalation and exhalation, all opposite, yet balancing pairs. This concept in practice, brings balance and harmony to all areas of the body and mind through correct postures (Asanas) and breath work (Pranayama).
HOW IS YOGA RELEVANT TO US TODAY

Society today reflects the belief that disease, struggle and strife are natural to the human condition. Negative conditioning promotes ignorance, which prevents us from experiencing our true potential. These negative thoughts get stored in our bodies, causing energy blockages that disrupt the balance of our health. The ageing of the body is largely an artificial process caused by stress, poor diet, ingestion of toxins and exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. By purifying the body and keeping it supple, we can reduce the process of cell deterioration.

In our ever-changing world with its frenetic pace of life, technological advances and financial pressures, more and more of us are turning towards the principles of Yoga. Recent scientific research in the US has shown that a regular practice of Yoga decreases problems with breathing, digestion and blood pressure, eliminates stress and tension and helps people suffering with arthritis and arteriosclerosis. The results of the 6 month study showed a dramatic increase in lung capacity, the ability to handle stress and a reduction in body weight, cholesterol and blood-sugar levels.
 Yoga is a magical fitness programme that helps balance emotions, sharpen the intellect and brings peace of mind. The attention to the physical body with emphasis on the postures is what makes Hatha Yoga so popular in our culture. You do not have to be spiritual to practice yoga. Start with the physical exercises – the postures (asanas) – and see where they lead you. If you make the choice to practice regularly, not only will your body become more flexible, so will your mind. As we open our minds to the philosophy of yoga, we become open to life’s possibilities. We learn to let go of the past and leave the baggage behind. Resistance will then break down so that new energy can flow into the empty spaces. Ultimately, with a little patience, you will find yourself changing.
HEALTH ACCORDING TO YOGA PHILOSOPHY

RELAXATION rests your entire system and releases tension in the muscles. Exercise followed by relaxation dislodges blockages in the system and restores the body’s normal energy flow. It also calms the mind.

EXERCISE – the yoga postures (asanas), help to stretch and tone all the muscles and strengthen bones and ligaments. Asanas improve circulation, immune system and keep the spine muscles and joints more flexible. They also help to relieve depression by increasing ‘feeling-good’ endorphins in the body.

BREATH CONTROL or Pranayama increase the capacity of the lungs, enabling you to breath more fully. They help to strengthen internal organs, improve mental control and deepen your ability to relax.

HEALTHY DIET – a well balanced, nourishing diet will boost the immune system, ensure better health and help to calm the mind. As a result, your body will become more resistant to illness and disease and you will feel a greater sense of general well-being and health. Learn more at Wildly Healthy Nutrition and Wellness.

MEDITATION AND POSITIVE THINKING – Yoga promotes positive thinking as one of its most important principles. It will train your mind too purify your thoughts so that a more confident you emerges. Meditation will ultimately lead to self-realisation – the real purpose of Yoga.

DIFFERENT STYLES OF YOGA

The science of Yoga is vast and has been divided into several branches, each focusing on different means of achieving the ultimate goal of Samadhi, true enlightenment. The reason for the many branches is to accommodate an many types of people and their learning styles as possible. Some of these are Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Tantric Yoga.

I teach Hatha Yoga which works to achieve your goal through the mastery of body and breath. It is the most practical and well known in the West. Within this branch you will come across many different names of yoga eg. Ashtanga, Bikram, Sivananda, Iyengar to name a few, these are all styles of Hatha yoga that a particular Guru or teacher has developed and given their name to. I teach a style called Vinyasa Flow Yoga which is not attributed to any one particular teacher and allows me the freedom of putting my own sequences of postures together to suit the needs and level of the class I am teaching at the time.