The word yoga means “union” in Sanskrit and Sanskrit is the language of ancient India where yoga originated. It means the union between the mind, body and spirit. I teach Hatha Yoga and Hatha Yoga represents the balance of opposites: the sun in Hindi is, (“ha”) and the moon (“tha”) and during the practice of yoga these two opposites work together creating unison.
When some people think of yoga, they imagine having to stretch like a gymnast. This makes them worry that they’re too old, unfit, or stiff to do yoga. The truth is you’re never too old to improve your flexibility so yoga is open to all ages. Yoga is really about learning to create balance in the body by developing both strength and flexibility. This is achieved by performing various poses or postures, each of which has a specific physical benefit. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement e.g., the sun salutation which is a sequence of poses or postures that work the whole body, or, the poses can be done more slowly to increase stamina and thereby help perfect the alignment of the pose. Movement in and out of the poses or postures is done with complete awareness to the breath.
Each time you take to your yoga mat you will do so under a different set of circumstances, so your Yoga practice will always be evolving and changing and this means it never gets boring. The poses themselves do not change but you will find that your relationship to them will. Yoga is non-competitive and pain free. One of the greatest pleasures in yoga for me personally was it taught me so much about my own physical body. Balance and Meditation helped me focus internally and in doing so I became aware of how I was holding stress in my body. Breathing techniques helped me release the stress; release also came during the course of practising the poses / postures and during relaxation. One of the hardest but most liberating things I learnt about yoga is learning to let go of the ego and accepting that we are all equal, no one person is better than the other . Everyone is just trying to do their best on any given day.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga:
- Stretches your muscles
- Increases range of mobility in joints
- Stretches soft tissues
- Improves muscle tone, strength and endurance
- Increases flexibility and strength bringing about better posture
- Increases body awareness
- Increases lung capacity improving sports performance and endurance.
- Promotes relaxation in the body
- Improves concentration and focus
- Lowers blood pressure and slows heart rate
- Boosts the immune system
- Slows the aging process.
- Teaches self-acceptance
- Improves energy levels.
- Therapeutic yoga
- More energy and less fatigue
- Improves sleep through relaxation techniques
- Relief of physical, mental and emotional tension