“What most people want is the same… they want physical and mental health, understanding, wisdom, peace and freedom. Often our means of pursuing these basic human needs come apart at the seams, as we are pulled by competing demands of life… Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life… to find an inner peace that is not ruffled by the endless struggles of life. You find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed.”
BKS Iyengar, famed for being one of the teachers who brought Yoga to the West.
Originating in India thousands of years ago the scientific system of Yoga combines mind (focus, concentration and meditation), energy (life-force cultivation through breathing practices) and body (movement and postures) to create complete wellbeing – not just physical but mental and spiritual as well. Asanas (yoga postures) are the physical aspect and the mental side is developed by affirmation, meditation and breathing exercises. This results in a very powerful all-round practice that restores health, mental balance and vitality.
Yoga is not just exercise it’s a way of life, a spiritual discipline that’s very different from Western workouts. On a simple level, if you want to be free of aches and pains, balance your weight, tone up, get far stronger, but most importantly rid yourself of stress, anxiety or depression then yoga is for you. Mentally your mind becomes clear and focused and your emotions come under control as you learn to relax and lose the stressors in your life. The “Yogis” believe that the body and the mind are completely connected and gaining mastery over both through regular yoga can remove all obstacles and life limitations.
Yoga balances your hormonal system and metabolism, flushing out toxins and helps clear blockages in the body and mind that can lead to disease. Every time you step on to your yoga mat, you connect to, and become part of, an evolving and powerful, ancient tradition. Yoga is the ultimate exercise and method of self-development.
More than 4,000 years ago, the early yogis in Northern India drew on their deep experiences and formed practices for man to achieve and maintain a state of balanced existence. Yoga began with one meditative pose, easy lotus. The word asana (posture) originally meant “meditative posture”. Then the yogi masters introduced cobra (back bend) to keep the spine flexible, going on to develop eight key poses that gave optimum health and vitality to the body. This, combined with meditation and breathing practices, was to control the mind and relieved suffering. From there yoga grew to the huge phenomenon it is today, with its many thousands of techniques and millions of supporters.
If you are interested to learn more about the history and origins of yoga ask our teachers. They will be glad to recommend books or websites for you.