Yoga is not just a physical workout, but is work on one’s whole self.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning to join or to yoke.
Yoga is union of the holistic self – Of body, mind and core self.
We utilize techniques that promote physical fitness, mental clarity & inner stability. Asana (physical postures) are only one part of true yoga, the part aimed at physical well being.
Diving deeper into yogic techniques and philosophy we learn tools to aid self awareness and self growth. Tools like mindfulness, breathing techniques, sensory withdrawal and meditation, to enhance and bring more awareness to our bodies, energy, emotions and mind.
The original physical asana was the lotus or meditation position. In the oldest documented account of yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, dating around 200 CE, the main focus was on moral and ethical guidelines to promote a peaceful mind, and the importance of meditation to access a higher state of awareness – which in turn brings peace, understanding and harmony in life.
In the 12th Century, Sage Swatmarama author of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika recognized the difficulties of trying to focus with the distraction of an unhealthy body and introduced many more physical asana. Hatha Yoga was born, which focused primarily on the physical body, its systems & breath control. These methods are utilized to master ones gross physical self and achieve steadiness of mind and stamina to enable comfort in the original (lotus) position, making meditation easier.
Yogic philosophy explicitly rejects all forms of exploitation & differentiation, encouraging compassion, generosity and respect. Not just to others, but to ourselves. Honouring everyone, not viewing anyone as higher or lower, seeing all as an expression of the One.
So our little class covers the very beginnings of true yoga practice, there are reams to learn about ourselves that transcend mere physical fitness or the perfect pose. But it’s a start!
‘In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, then the door is there
and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open,
except yourself.’ Krishnamurti