Yoga is more then bending your body like the contortionist yoga poses we see today. Yoga is about being gentle and kind to yourself and to simply experience “being” while sitting, breathing and moving in a class. A yoga class is designed to feel your bodies needs and observe without judgment, then adapt your pose to create more ease. Being present to experience a steady mind, body and a compassionate heart towards yourself and others, this is the essence of yoga.
Yoga students work towards creating more flexibility and strength, eliminating active thoughts and specific breathing to promote a clear, calm mind and body. Typically today, most people associate yoga with a physical practice. However these are only part of the benefits. Yoga is increasingly being used as therapy for a range of conditions such as, sciatica, back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, frozen shoulder, etc. Many doctors refer yoga to their patients to help manage stress, or tension in the body.
The practice of yoga is a reflection of our lives. Sometimes life is positive and it flows easily. At other times, life can be a challenging similarly reflected in yoga postures. Yoga asks the student to breathe into the tension they feel and subsequently release the tension in order to connect and calm the body and mind. It asks the student to be fully present to the sensations and thoughts arising from the postures, to seek liberation from the thinking mind.
Through the practice, the student trains the mind and the body to become aware and more present which then positively and naturally crosses over for application in our daily life. These learned techniques of breathing and mindfulness become integrated into our being and assist in reducing our stress response, thus promoting healing and health. Yoga has been proven to reduce cortisol hormone levels linked to the stress response. At the same time it increases the activity of brain waves that boost our peace of mind.
If you are thinking about starting, find a class that will suit your needs. There are a wide variety of classes throughout Essex County. Call your local studio and explain your conditions or needs. The yoga studio will guide you to the proper class that will assist and work with you to achieve your personal goals. There is no judgment in yoga. It is intelligently designed for every “body” so we can heal and transform to allow our true self to flourish.