Buddha
“The mind is everything; what you think you become.”-Buddha

More About Yoga

The benefits of yoga are infinite.  Whether you're looking to increase your flexibility, build a stronger body, or learn how to manage life's daily challenges more calmly, practicing yoga can help.  The important thing to keep in mind is the purpose yoga serves as part of your Daily Mindful Practice.  Yoga paves the way to mindful living.  You can work almost anything out that you are dealing in in your life on the yoga mat. Yoga also helps prepare the mind and body for meditation.  You will discover that if you complete a few yoga poses and then do a relaxation practice prior to meditation - your attention is easier to direct and you will be able to go much deeper into meditation.

The word yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit.  Yoga focuses on the movement of the body through the practice of physical poses (asanas) and rhythmic breathing (pranayama) which helps relax the mind.

Asanas are various body poses designed to improve health and remove diseases in the physical, causal, and subtle bodies. The word "asana" is Sanskrit for "seat", which refers not only to the physical position of the body but also to the position of the body.  They were originally intended as preparation for meditation, as the postures can make you feel relaxed for a long period of time. A regular asana practice will provide the practitioner with muscle flexibility and bone strength, and, concentration.

Pranayama is derived from the words "prana" (life-force or energy source) and "ayama" (to control). It is the science of breath control. This is an important part of yoga because the yogis of old times believed that the secret to controlling one's mind can be answered by controlling one's breath.

 

More to Consider

 

Benefits of Yoga

The physical benefits:

  • Creates a toned, flexible, and strong body
  • Improves respiration, energy, and vitality
  • Helps to maintain a balanced metabolism
  • Promotes cardiovascular and circulatory health
  • Relieves pain
  • Helps you look and feel younger than your age
  • Improves your athletic performance

 

The mental benefits:

  • Helps you relax and handle stressful situations more easily
  • Teaches you how to quiet the mind so you can focus your energy where you want it to go - into a difficult yoga pose, on a particular relationship, or in the office
  • Encourages positive thoughts and self-acceptance

 

The spiritual benefits:

  • Builds awareness of your body, your feelings, the world around you, the needs of others
  • Promotes an interdependence between mind, body, and spirit
  • Helps you live the concept of "oneness"