Yoga is an ancient tradition, a system of personal development and the Sanskrit word literally translates as union, the union of the mind, the body and the spirit. It has been around for thousands of years, and was developed in India as a way of life.
There are many forms of yoga Raja, Hatha, Jnana, Bhakti and Karma Yoga. Hatha is the form of Yoga that we generally promote in the West, developing Asanas (posture work), Pranayama (Life force or the breath and Pratyhara (Relaxation).
Asanas – Promote a strong flexible body, toning the muscles, and the internal organs therefore improving the working on the adrenal, endocrine, immune, reproductive and the nervous system. Along with Ujjayi Breath its helps to unblock the energy (prana) that might blocked in the body restoring and revitalising for wellness and health. In the mind as well as the body.
Pranyama – is the science of life. The breath that we take for granted from the moment we take our first one. The breath can become shallow and ragged as we move through our daily lives. The stresses and strains of modern life, create nervousness and tension. The practice of Ujjayi keeps the breath flowing throughout the systems of the body retraining so it becomes an automatic response. Revitalising with fresh Oxygen and nutrients, supporting the immune system to give us energy and keep us free from disease. Promoting a sense of calmness.
Pratyhara – In Yoga we begin and end our classes with a relaxation session, to tune into our practice and to leave the class carrying a sense of calmness with us back into the world. Helping to release any unnecessary nervous tension and stress, that we maybe carrying without any awareness. Relaxation is a state of letting go as opposed to holding on a physiological level the muscles become relaxed, the breath becomes deeper, the organs of the body relax. Tension is released around the joints of the body, Jaw and shoulders particularly and it also work on the sympathetic nervous system reducing blood pressure, and releasing harmful concentrations of chemicals from the body such as adrenalin, cortisol and cortisone.