What Exactly is Yoga?

People have been practicing yoga for over 5,000. Yoga is a disciplined way of life that has as its foundation that mind, body and spirit are one. The word “Yoga” originates from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means “to control or to unite”. In essence, ancient Yogi’s believed that for man to be in harmony with the world around him, he needs to integrate the body, mind and spirit. Uniting a person’s own consciousness with the universal consciousness is the heart of Yoga.

The three main aspects of Yoga include: postures/poses (Asanas), breathing control (Pranayama) and the constant observation of the mind (Meditation):

  • Asanas create balance in the body by developing one's strength and flexibility. Each Asana has a specific physical benefit.
  • Pranayama is considered the science of breath control. Breathing techniques were developed on the basis that breath is the source of life and that proper breathing brings more oxygen to the blood and to the brain, which encourages cellular thriving and growth; ultimately bringing control to One's vital life energy. From the Yogic point of view, the combined practice of Asanas with Pranayama is the highest form of purification and self-discipline that encompasses both mind and body.
  • Meditation is a mental discipline in which one attempts to further themselves beyond the condition of "thinking" into a deeper, more still space in order to perceive the Self. Through Yoga, when practicing the art of Meditation with Asanas and Pranayama, the mind will experience a sense of awareness, purpose, and strength of will.