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Soy Candles and Mists
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I did not come to yoga to stretch. I came to live.” Maya Breuer
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What is yoga?
Yoga is a philosophy and discipline that is both physical and psychological and is applied to the development of the mind, body and spirit. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning “yoke” or “union” and connotes a fusing of the conscious and the super conscious. More commonly understood, it is a system of practices aimed at integrating the mind, body and spirit to enhance health and well-being.
Yoga is believed to have originated some 5000 years ago in India. Early teachings generally consisted of passive, meditative practices geared toward spiritual self- attainment and self-fulfillment. There are many disciplines of yoga that emphasize different aspects of the mind, body and spirit and involve holding body positions, centering the mind and breathing in a meditative way. Today, in the west, mainstream yoga focuses largely on the physical practice. Hatha yoga is a widespread practice that incorporates the physical postures (asanas) with breathing techniques.
What will yoga do for me?
Yoga can be transcending, affecting all areas of your life in a positive way. Yoga brings many gifts. Here are some:
·Increases strength and flexibility
·Brings clarity of thought and ability to focus
·Calms and restores
·Detoxifies and cleanses internal organs
·Helps increase bone density
Is yoga safe, even for older people?
Yes. Any aged person can practice yoga. Yoga is safe when the practitioner listens not only to instruction, but to his or her own body. Trusting the natural intelligence of your mind and body is the best guide to maintaining safety. Recognize that every body is different and that ever day your body may feel or act different. Honoring and responding to your body and mind is part of the art in the practice!
What do I need to bring to class?
An open mind! Being receptive to new beginnings is the first recommendation. Aside from that, it is best to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes such as a tee shirt and leggings or loose pants or shorts. Many people prefer to bring their own yoga mat as well.
Where should I start?
If just starting out, it is probably good to begin with a slower-paced or gentle yoga class to get familiar with the practice. Yoga classes can vary in intensity, so check yoga schedules for descriptions of classes before you choose. Yoga is an individual experience and any body can join a class at any time. Listening to one’s body, to the instructor and being mindful are really the only prerequisites! Yoga classes often have varying levels of practitioner, from very experienced to less experienced.