Yoga is a spiritual science of self-realisation.
It comes from India and goes back over 5000 of years. The Indian sage Pantajali, in his Yoga sutras defines yoga as the control of the activities of the mind. Yoga methods encompass the entire field of our existence, from the physical, emotional and mental to the spiritual. Its methods include ethical disciplines, physical postures, breath control, as well as meditation.
Classical yoga as defined by the sacret yogic text.
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is an eight stages process of spiritual development (the eight limbs ashtanga path):
- Yama - social retraints or ethical values (moral codes)
- Niyama - personal observance (self-purification and study)
- Asana - posture (seat)
- Pranayama - extention of life-force (breath control)
- Pratyahara - withdrawal of the senses (sense control)
- Dharana - concentration
- Dhyana - Meditation
- Samadhi - absorption, liberation (total peace)
Hatha yoga seeks to promote health and well-being through physical exercise (asana). In my classes I always teach with the spirit of yamas and njyamas as they are the baces of Yoga.
The regular practice of asanas, and breathing exercises (pranayama), makes the body strong, supple and healthy.
It has a profound effect on the circulation and on the functioning of the inner organs, glands and nerves, keeping all systems in radiant health and leading to greater energy, better concentration, and a happier, more fulfilling life.
Many common physical ailments can also be improved through the regular practice of yoga, and it is never too late or too early in life to take it up. Anyone can practice yoga.