WHAT IS YOGA?
"Yoga is a way of moving into stillness
in order to experience the truth of who you are..."
- Erich Schiffmann -
Hatha Yoga, the yoga of bodily postures, is the most familiar to those in the west. Hatha Yoga develops self-awareness, strength, flexibility, body symmetry, coordination, and balance. It improves posture and alignment, and can reprogram habitual patterns of movement, creating new muscle memory and healthy changes in the way we use our bodies. Yoga asanas (postures) stimulate blood flow to all of the internal organs, improving their function.
Yoga balances the body, mind, and emotions. Deep relaxation techniques and proper breathing are important aspects of yoga practice; the nervous system is calmed, blood pressure normalizes, tension and pain are reduced, and physical problems improve. Yoga cultivates equanimity and a calm, centered mind so that we can more skillfully respond to the ups and downs of life. By holding the postures, relaxing into the sensations and breathing, the practitioner develops control over one's own mind and reactive tendencies.
A 6,ooo year old system of personal growth, Yoga (meaning to "yoke" or "unite") aims to unite all aspects of ourselves, and to unite our seemingly-separate selves with the Divine or greater whole. Yoga is not a religion, and can be practiced by anyone~ young or old, healthy or ill, religious or not~ to improve quality of life, health, and peace of mind.
Whether in private sessions or group settings, students are encouraged to tune into and honor their bodies and their inner wisdom. Modifications for postures are given in accordance with the students' needs and abilities, and props are often used to support correct alignment.
Guided Meditation is an important part of all classes offered here. The time spent on meditation depends on the nature of the class and the experience level of the students. Guided meditation is also often incorporated into bodywork sessions to facilitate the client's healing and a deeper connection with themselves and their body. There are many styles of meditation, making it accessible to all.
Turning our attention inward, away from external distractions ~ no matter how briefly ~ cultivates awareness, perspective, inner peace, presence, equanimity, clear seeing, and compassion for ourselves and others. It is simple and yet profoundly transformative at once, and lets us experience life with greater joy, wonder, and wisdom.