What is Yoga?

The term yoga comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “yoke” or “union.” This ancient practice can be traced back 5,000 years and is intended to unite the mind, body and spirit. On the physical level, yoga postures, called asanas, are designed to tone, strengthen and align the body. These postures are performed to make the spine supple and healthy and to promote blood flow to all the organs, glands and tissues, keeping all the bodily systems healthy. On the mental level, yoga uses breathing techinques (pranayama) and meditation (dyana) to quiet, clarify and discipline the mind.

Cultivating a yoga practice is one way of living a life focused around health and peace of mind. In today’s Western culture, most people refer to Yoga and Asana (postures) synonomously, most commonly coming to their mats as a means to lessen stress and find relaxation, strength and flexibility.

Yoga is not a magic cure-all, but the way it challenges our bodies, moves our stuck emotional energy, clears our minds, and inspires us to seek and live in truth can be a catalyst for amazing growth. Yoga is ultimately a system of physical, mental, and spiritual awakening that integrates the whole person, on every level. It works every muscle, organ, joint, and system. It takes your body through it’s intended range of motion. It’s about developing a soulful perspective to the question that always comes up: “How did I get myself into this state I’m in, and how do I get myself out?” Yoga offers us the understanding of our condition and the road map to get ourselves into a more sculpted and awakened life – whether that be a stronger, more powerful or pain-free body, a heightened emotional intelligence, or a spiritually deeper experience of life.

“When your body, mind and soul are healthy and harmonious, you will bring health and harmony to those around you, and health and harmony to the world.” -BKS Iyengar

Benefits
* Build strength
* Improve your posture and flexibility
* Create longer, leaner muscles
* Speed up your metabolism
* Lose weight
* Enhance your balance
* Recover from injury and chronic pain
* Reduce stress
* Have more energy and passion
* Experience a new level of emotional calm and mental clarity
* Open yourself to the process of transformation
* Enjoy life more fully

More info on yoga from Sivananda.

My Favorite Styles

Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa is literally translated to “place in a special way” or to flow from one posture to the next. While practicing this style of yoga you learn to flow with grace while combining breath with movement. This smooth but intense sequencing of postures is meditatively fluid and physically challenging. Come find meditation in movement, and unity between mind, body and spirit.

Power Yoga
This style of yoga blends traditional yoga forms into a flowing practice that is accessible to students of all levels. Power Yoga works out the body and the mind. This dynamic combination of strength, sweat, and spirit will transform you, both on the outside and within.

A typical power/vinyasa class includes: sun salutations, standing postures, balancing postures, twists, and inversions.