The practice of Yoga can bring increased strength and flexibility to the body, strengthen mind body connection, and provide greater peace and clarity of mind. Perhaps most importantly, it provides a valuable space for focusing on self care and connecting inwards. It can also greatly enhance self awareness and provide valuable insights which can filter through and transform everyday life experience. By using a rounded and holistic approach this practice (including relaxation, meditation, self compassion practices and embodied awareness) we can cultivate increased inner stillness, peace of mind, and connection to greater awareness, promoting healing and integration of the whole being.
Yoga is perhaps the world’s original answer to stress relief. In ancient times, yogis were primarily interested in exploring the human capacity for consciousness and enlightenment. Most people today are content with the many benefits of the practices because they lead to healthier bodies, calmer and clearer mental and emotional states, and less stressful daily lives. The word “yoga” means “union” or “joining.” This union refers to the joining of different aspects of ourselves so that we do not feel scattered, isolated, get stressed, and become sick. It brings about the natural integration of our body, mind, and spirit. Yoga refers to the joining and balancing of our light and dark places, the concrete and the abstract, the internal and the external, and our masculine and feminine aspects. It especially refers to our individual self with our higher, divine Self, and the oneness of all. It is neither a religion or a sport. Yoga is really about becoming whole and balanced. Fortunately, it also gives us practical tools for doing so.
All my classes start and finish with stillness meditation, and include asana, breath focus, relaxation and self acceptance practices. Often they also include affirmation, self compassion practices, connection to others, connection to the Earth, and poetry or quotations.