What is yoga?
Yoga is a catch-all term for various disciplines that originated in Ancient India. These practices incorporated physical, mental and spiritual elements and played an important part in Hindu philosophy and meditation.
Over 2.000 years ago, many of these yoga practices were collated into a sort of guidebook called the Yoga Sutra that outlined the “eight limbs” of yoga: yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).
In the west, yoga tends to concentrate on the third limb (asana) – a series of classic postures that promote physical strength and stamina and purify the body. The yoga we offer at Life in Motion uses these asana to help you achieve physical fitness and peace of mind.
Yoga offers many different benefits if you do it regularly. It stretches the limbs and muscles, and stimulates your internal organs. It also clears your mind, forcing you to live in the moment and become calm and centered. This means you can focus, make better decisions and even sleep better as the yoga relieves your stress. Yoga increases body awareness as well as mind-body connection. Many practitioners find that yoga allows them to get more connected with themselves which makes them feel more contented in their everyday lives.
We offer Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Gentle Yoga here at Life in Motion. The different styles boast different benefits to you your body and mind.
- Vinyasa Yoga offers dynamic sequences of classical yoga postures. You are encouraged to align your movements with your breathing and link your poses together while inhaling or exhaling. This helps you achieve flexibility and maintain focus.
- Hatha Yoga has less flow between the poses than Vinyasa and the classes incorporate slow stretching and some meditation. Hatha is a good yoga to start out with for beginners as you can become familiar with the many postures and techniques used.
- Gentle Yoga is not as intense as other forms offered by Body in Motion and puts less stress on your limbs and joints as the postures are not as deep. So it is the perfect form of yoga for people rehabilitating, seniors or anyone who is out of shape. It is also a great prenatal form of yoga and helps women prepare for the challenges of delivery and motherhood (yet, if you are expecting, do inform your instructor before the class as there are some asana that should be avoided when pregnant).
There is a misconception that yoga is the preserve of skinny svelte young things or wize bearded men who can bend themselves into near impossible positions. Yes, yoga does promote flexibility, but you don’t have to be able to wrap your legs round your head to do it. It is suitable for people or any age or fitness level. After all, you don’t start driving lessons as an accomplished driver, rather you learn as you go along – as it is with yoga.
In a number of ways! As well as promoting flexibility, yoga offers a range of health benefits. Your posture will improve leaving you at less risk of injury, the stronger muscles yoga creates help protect you from arthritis and back pain, and your joints will enjoy a fuller range of motion. Yoga is also a great way to fight stress and depression, therefore lowering your blood pressure, it boosts your immune system and makes you less prone to certain diseases and ailments such as heart disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
If you are new to yoga, the most important thing to bring is an open mind and a willing attitude. But you don’t really need any fancy equipment, just some loose clothes such as sweat pants or shorts that allow you freedom of movement. Most people tend to practice yoga barefoot, so you don’t require any fancy footwear. You might want to bring a towel especially if you are doing a form of hot yoga. As people start coming to classes more often they often invest in their own mat.
Any more questions, or do you just want to get started?