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WHAT IS YOGA?

AN ANCIENT SCIENCE IN A MODERN WORLD

Born many thousands of years ago, Yoga is as relevant today as it was then. Why is this? The answer is that due to modern living and ideals we have become individually and collectively out of balance – and people are waking up to this fact. It is a feeling that something is missing. People want a different perspective on life. Yoga is holistic in its approach and therefore the benefits are multi-dimensional.

HATHA YOGA

‘Yoga’ means to yoke, unite, make whole, to harmonize. It is a philosophy (not a religion) that gives guidelines for living a happy and peaceful life. It originated in India thousands of years ago. Forms of Yoga were also practiced in ancient China, Tibet, Eqypt and South America. There are many paths within this philosophy, Hatha Yoga just being one of them. The word ‘Hatha’ is made of two words: ‘Ha’ which means ‘sun’ and ‘Tha’ which means ‘moon’. The sun and moon refer in this context to masculine and feminine energies respectively. Put simply these are qualities that we have. The masculine being a heating, active type of energy and the feminine being a cooling, passive type of energy. Yoga brings balance to these energies which brings balance to the mind, body and spirit. Hatha Yoga is know as the Yoga of physical discipline. It comprises of postures known as ‘asanas’ (pronounced “ar-sah-nahs”) and other physical exercises that bring health to the body; breathing techniques knows as ‘pranayama’, and relaxation. Meditation is also often a part of today’s Hatha Yoga classes. Through ignorance, meditation is often looked upon with suspicion but all it really means is ‘to mediate with oneself’, i.e. be in a quite state, free from mental chatter so that we can connect with our inner wisdom.

YOGA AS AN EXERCISE SYSTEM

Yoga is a gentle yet highly effective exercise system. It is the complete opposite of the ‘no pain – no gain’ approach. The body is treated with complete respect – you never force or strain. Postures are achieved through deep breathing. You literally relax and let go to go deeper into a pose. When with practice the body has become more flexible and strong, you move toward more advanced postures. Unlike many other exercise systems, Yoga postures work the whole body. As well as the limbs, the internal organs are excercised and toned, the spine made supple and the back stronger, circulation is improved and toxins released. Most importantly though, Yoga is mindful. You pay complete attention to what you are doing and from this the body is positioned and used to maximum benefit with less chance of injury. It is often seen that people who practice Yoga on a regular basis develop, slim, toned bodies. In Yoga you mostly elongate the muscles which helps to eliminate fat from around the cells. Also some postures stimulate the thyroid gland to work more efficiently ant this has an effect on metabolism and helps you achieve your perfect weight. By holding the postures you develop muscle strength without bulk, you strengthen the heart without strain and you strengthen the bones and joints without concussive, pounding movements. The lungs too are strengthened without detriment to the rest of the body. Whilst holding a pose you breathe deeply and also there are techniques that specifically work on respiration even though the rest of the body may not be moving. You gain amazing levels of energy and stamina. Yoga is for building energy, not depleting it.

STRESS RELIEF

Deep breathing in Yoga works as a natural tranquilizer on the nervous system. The movements done at the same time as either an inhalation or exhalation bring you into the present moment and help you ‘switch off’ from worries and the chatter of the mind. An over-active mind is one of the main causes of stress. The deep stretching relieves tension in the muscles and this in turn relieves mental tension. Regular practice of Yoga helps you develop an inner calm and strength, so that you are able to confront any problems more rationally and peacefully. Relaxation plays a big part in Yoga due to its profoundly healing effect on body and mind. Stress is a killer, Yoga is the antidote.

HEALTH AND HEALING

Yoga is a powerful tool for the health of the body. Because Yoga works on you wholly, every organ, gland and cell is encouraged to be in a state of full efficiency. The improved circulation and oxygen levels bought about by the postures and breathing techniques, help to nourish every cell. Yogis believe that prana, the universal energy that animates all living things, is able to flow more freely in the body due to the postures and breathing techniques, removing any blockages. It is a similar concept to acupuncture. It is thought that illness develops when energy flow is blocked in the body. Yoga helps to boost the immune system. You will find that you will be less susceptible to colds and the latest ‘bug’ that is going around. Yoga has been known to help with: Anaemia, High/Low blood pressure, Eczema, Arthritis, Colitis, Fatique, Asthma, Diabetes, Headache, Indigestion, Menstrual disorders, Infertility, Obesity, Insomnia Etc, etc.,

SPINE AND BACK MUSCLES

Many yoga postures work on keeping the spine healthy and flexible. Many problems arise from poor posture. In Yoga you learn to stand and sit in perfect posture. The Yoga postures bend the spine forward, backward, laterally, as well as twisting it each way. These movements help to align the spine, improve the condition of the discs, balance the back muscles and therefore ease / prevent back pain.

YOUTHFULNESS

By keeping the spine well aligned, joints flexible, circulation flowing freely, internal organs working efficiently, immune system boosted and limbs strong, you are in a better position to ward off the usual effects of time. Inverted postures are an effective means of reversing the effects of gravity on the body. The skin becomes more radiant and the hair glossy. Some exercises also help reduce the appearance of line around the eyes and forehead.

THE REGULAR PRACTICE OF YOGA PAYS ENORMOUS DIVIDENDS!

 

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Stamford Yoga Limited
12 Broad Street
Stamford, Lincolnshire
PE9 1PG

Mobile: 07738 272 474
Email: info@stamfordyoga.co.uk

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Stamford Yoga Limited
Companies House, Cardiff, on 4th August 2014
Registered Office: 3 Peterborough Road, Castor, Peterborough PE5 7AX
Company Reg No - 09160332

Email: info@stamfordyoga.co.uk