Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Yoga Month!!

Namaste! September is National Yoga Month! SO this September I have decided to blog daily about yoga - what is is, the benefits, asanas, yoga events...all things yoga! I began my personal yoga practice when I was at home on summer break from college. My mom practices and invited me to attend some classes with her. I found them interesting, but it didn't hold my attention enough to practice when I went back to college. I remember New Years 2007 and declaring I would become a yoga teacher one day. I had no idea at that point how you became a yoga teacher or the work that yoga entails or the vast knowledge you begin to learn and confront in your practice. But something in me said "yoga teacher!" That February of 2007, I remember purchasing a 20 class pack from Life In Motion yoga studio. From then on, I built my practice, and today I am still practicing and enjoying the journey that yoga is taking me on. I enjoy sharing my practice and helping to break down the myths around yoga. What is Yoga?
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means Union.  It comes from the Sanskrit, "yuj" meaning "to unite", "to yoke" or "to join".  Yoga aims to unite the body, mind and the spirit.  Yoga is not just about the body, nor is it just about wearing cute clothes and looking fit.  Yoga is a lifestyle of remaining present and maintaining a relationship of integration between your mind, body and spirit in the now.  Anytime that you do this, you are technically practicing yoga.
The physical aspect of yoga is Hatha Yoga.
What are some of the benefits of yoga?
The benefits of yoga are infinite and limitless.  They include physical increase of flexibility, muscle strengthening, and improved posture.  Because yoga uses breath and focuses on deep breathing, it helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which helps slow our heart rate, activate our adrenal glands, and help to relieve stress naturally and balance the natural state of the body.  Yoga may help you quiet your mind and enjoy living in the present, it may also help you to challenge the myths and beliefs you subconscious have about your body and health and begin to debunk those myths and realize that you have access to creating perfect health within you.
Who can do yoga?
Pretty much ANYONE!!  Yoga is for everyone.  While the physical aspect of yoga is very important the other aspects of yoga (breathing, devotion, selfless work) are important and part of yoga as well.  If you have limited range of motion in one body part, you can still practice yoga in another body part.  There are many types of yoga, yoga studios and yoga teachers, so you may have to find the best setting for you.  In some cases, you may be your best teacher!
How would a person start their yoga practice?
By starting!  The journey of 10,000 miles starts with one step.  If you are interested in practicing yoga, check out a local yoga studio.  Try a basics or a level 1 class.  Let the teacher know that you are new to yoga (this lifetime) and let them know any special needs you may have or injuries you may be recovering from.  Dive into it!
Feel free to email me soulistichealing@gmail.com with any questions about yoga!  I will address your questions in this blog all month!
Om Shanti!
Namaste is a sanskrit word that is used usually at the end of a yoga practice.  It means my soul bows to your soul.  It is a word of respect and honoring the divine presence in all of humanity.
Om Shanti is a sanskrit term that means Eternal Peace.