What is yoga?
Yoga is a way of life, an integrated system of education for the body, mind, and inner spirit.Yoga is a life of self discipline based on the tenets of simple living and high thinking. In yoga, the body is seen as a vehicle for the soul. We are souls living in a human body, not a body with a soul. Just as a car requires a lubricating system, a battery, a cooling system, the proper fuel, and a responsible driver behind the wheel, so the body has certain needs if it is to function smoothly:
proper exercise (asanas, the yoga postures)
proper breathing (pranayama)
proper relaxation (savasana)
positive thinking (vendanta)
The physical postures of yoga, called asanas, benefit far more than just the physical body. They promote a state of mental and physical well-being along with good health. Yoga helps to bring all your organs to function efficiently under the intelligent control of the mind. Asanas have the capacity to overhaul, rejuvenate, and bring your entire system into a state of balance.
Yoga is also a philosophy, a science, and an art, that unites the body, mind, and spirit for health and harmony in everyday life. It does not belong to any religion, but it exemplifies some ideas which are common to all religions. Yoga gives its practitioners a toolset to bring them to state of Samadhi, or bliss. This state is one filled with joy, peace, concentration and contentment in all circumstances. Yoga's sole purpose is to quiet the mind and body so that one can meditate with God. Yoga does not say who 'god' is, but merely recognizes that all things were created by one divine entity. In order to achieve Samadhi, one must have a direct relationship with this Divine. Yoga is a rule book for playing the game of Life and nothing of the yogic philosophy goes against any organized religion.
As you continue to practice yoga, you will deepen your understanding of what you truly believe. The only requirements are to act and be attentive to your actions. You will find that yoga not only provides physical benefits, but it can calm your mind, increase your concentration, and give you the ability to cope with stress. It promotes physical and spiritual well-being through a system of personal introspection, excavation, and development.
B.K.S Iyengar says of yoga, "By accepting nature's challenge and joining the game, we find ourselves on a windswept and exciting journey that will pay benefits commensurate to the time and effort we put in--the lowest being able to tie our own shoelaces when we are eighty and the highest being the opportunity to taste the essence of life itself."
What most people want is the same. Most simply want physical and mental health, understanding and wisdom, as well as peace and freedom. Yoga is designed to satisfy all these human needs as a comprehensive, seamless whole. Its goal is nothing less than to attain the integrity of interconnectedness with ourselves, with God, and with one another. Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit the broken pieces together. Yoga allows you to find inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.
Here are a just few of the countless benefits of practicing yoga:
Physical benefits such as strength, flexibility and agility.
Mental benefits like increased concentration and focus, freedom from mental stress.
Physical and spiritual well-being by empowering oneself.
Yoga can just be a physical form for you, but you just might be surprised how much more it can offer.
Welcome to the journey and we look forward to seeing you on your mat!
~Your Soleil Lune Staff