Yoga

Yoga

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.  What is commonly referred to as "yoga" can be more accurately described by the Sanskrit word asana, which refers to the practice of physical postures or poses.  Asana is only one of the eight "limbs" of yoga, the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well-being than physical activity. In the West, however, the words asana and yoga are often used interchangeably.

Yoga Poses

Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa-style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose. The poses are a constant, but the approach to them varies depending on the tradition in which the teacher has trained.