FAQ

What is yoga?

How is yoga helpful in our day to day life?

How many types of yoga are there?

Is yoga a religion?

I’m not flexible—can I do yoga?

Do I need any experience of yoga to join the classes?

What do I need to begin?

Why are you supposed to refrain from eating two to three hours before class?

 

What is yoga?

Developed in India, Yoga is a psycho-physical discipline with roots going back about 5,000 years. Today, most Yoga practices in the West focuses on the physical postures called “asanas,” breathing exercises called “pranayama,” and meditation. However, there’s more to it than that, and the deeper you go the richer and more diverse the tradition becomes. The word “Yoga” means union. Linguistically, it is related to the Old English “yoke.” Traditionally, the goal of Yoga is union with the Absolute, known as Brahman, or with Atman, the true self. These days the focus is often on the physical benefits of Yoga, including improved physical fitness, mental clarity, greater self-understanding, stress control and general well-being. Spirituality, however, is a strong underlying theme to most practices.

How is yoga helpful in our day to day life?

In our day to day life we undergo through different kinds of Stress. We are always in search of sailing the ship on the way of happiness and peace of mind.
Our real happiness lies within ourselves. The stable mind and well tuned body can give us real joy which does not vanish like our materialistic happiness. These things can be achieved through Yoga. Yoga can help us control the working of mind.

How many types of yoga are there?

Many. There are four paths of Yoga:

1) Jnana, the path of knowledge or wisdom
2) Bhakti, the path of devotion
3) Karma, the path of action
4) Raja, the path of self control

Hatha Yoga, which includes postures and breathing, and is the form most popular in the West, is actually part of Raja Yoga, the path of self control. The path most followed in India is thought to be Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion. Within Hatha Yoga there are many styles, such as Iyengar, Astanga, Integral, Kripalu and Jiva Mukti, to name a few. These Yogas all share a common lineage back to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a text outlining the basic philosophy and practices of Classical Yoga. It was written sometime between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D.
How is yoga different from stretching or other kinds of fitness?
Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Patanjali’s eight-fold path illustrates how the physical practice is just one aspect of yoga. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, judging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.

Is yoga a religion?

No. It depends on how you define “religion” and how the Yoga practitioner approaches his or her practice. The physical and psychological benefits of Yoga are real and don’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, political persuasion or any other way people like (or dislike) to categorize themselves. The benefits also don’t depend on chanting Om. On the spiritual side, most mystical traditions – East or West – draw similar maps of the spiritual path. So in that respect, Yoga is mainstream. Like Shakespeare said, “A rose by any name would smell as sweet.” For these reasons, many people feel they can practice Yoga without conflict with their religious beliefs.

I’m not flexible—can I do yoga?

Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that’s a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible.
This new found agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.

Do I need any experience of yoga to join the classes?

No, we welcome all level of practitioners.

What do I need to begin?

All you really need to begin practicing yoga is your body, your mind and a bit of curiosity. Please bring a Yoga mat. It is also useful to have a cushion or block. Please also wear light clothing.

Why should yoga be practiced on an empty stomach?

In yoga practice we twist from side to side, turn upside down, and bend forward and backward. If you have not fully digested your last meal, it will make itself known to you in ways that are not comfortable. Anything that is not an actual part of your body should be out if you want to move your energies upward. Yogic practices are not exercises – they are methods to restructure your system. In a way, you are trying to recreate yourself by remolding your system the way you want it to be. For this to be done, there should be nothing but your body. The only thing that is okay to have before the practice is water.

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’Human Energy in the Timeline’ By Katherine Mynott

Energy flows through us into both the past (typically through the back of the aura) and into the future (through the front). We are creating and re-creating our past and future all the time, and it benefits us greatly to live fully in the Present Now - only then can we truly guide our journey.

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