SI NEWS – TORONTO
Yoga in Sanskrit means Union, a union between you and all aspects of your life.We should all take a moment to appreciate who we are in this life and instead of expectations develop gratitude. Before we start to do yoga physically we must prepare ourselves mentally and realize that a very big part of yoga is breathing and creating the freedom in our body with very basic yoga movements. Yoga is a time for us to be in stillness. It’s very important to create a discipline within ourselves to find that time for meditation and being mindful not to give into our urges
In these challenging times of covid-19 lockdown we have all had time to reflect on the choices we’ve made in life as well as our physical and mental health. As I went down my memory lane it came to my mind when I was 16 my girlfriend who just returned from the Middle East where she was staying for a year with her parents who worked there in the medical profession. I noticed something different about her and she shared a book with me which she received from an 80 year old man who despite his age was youthful, strong and still working. His secret was yoga that he practiced every day and he shared the book with her “Hatha Yoga For Everyone” which she passed to me upon her arrival. I was very inspired by this book which changed my outlook on life. In the book there were pictures of a variety of yoga poses which are called asanas with accompanying descriptions and benefits attributed to each pose. They appeared to look impossible to achieve and perform properly. However I was so fascinated and determined to achieve mastery over each of the poses and could not wait to awaken every morning to do my practice. Everyday I was able to go deeper and deeper into the poses. It gave me pleasure of achieving and feeling so much focus , flexibility and strength. Practicing yoga made me feel elevated and transformed. It truly changed my outlook on life.
So what is Yoga?
In brief …It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation. Aside -from Hatha Yoga that I was introduced to there are many other branches of yoga such as :
Vinyasa Yoga. …
Hatha Yoga. …
Ashtanga Yoga. …
Power Yoga. …
Restorative Yoga. …
Prenatal Yoga. …
Iyengar Yoga…,and more .
The practice of Yoga is believed to have started with the very dawn of civilization. The science of yoga has its origin thousands of years ago, long before the first religions or belief systems were born. In theyogic lore, Shiva is seen as the first yogi or Adiyogi, and the first Guru of Adi Guru.
Yoga comes out of an oral tradition in which the teaching was transmitted directly from teacher to student. The original context of yoga was spiritual development practices to train the body and mind to self observe and become aware of their own nature. The purposes of yoga were to cultivate discernment, awareness, self-regulation and higher consciousness in the individual. It often starts with a very powerful chant “OM” at the beginning and ending of Yoga practice .
However “OM” is more than just an invitation to start Yoga practice. It is said to be the primordial sound born with the universe.
” OM” allows us to separate the time of our practice from the rest of our everyday lives, signifying that our practice time is a sacred time in which we care for ourselves while also practicing mindfulness.
Apparently chanted “OM” vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz – the same vibrational frequency found in all things throughout nature.
“OM” is the basic sound of the universe; chanting it symbolically and physically tunes us into that sound and acknowledges our connection to everything in the world and the Universe.
The rhythmic pronunciation and vibrations have a calming effect on the body and the nervous system similar to the effects of meditation. This lowers the blood pressure and increases the health of the heart.
Ultimately, “OM” connects us to our practice in a deeper way.
This ancient discipline became a very important form of practice in the modern world of fitness ..Yoga roots are really ancient, however the modern evolution that we know is very different from its original nature. It remains, though, the desire for many people as it was for me to approach this challenging at times discipline so fascinating and helpful in finding balance in our daily routine , and also give us the very much needed physical and mental strengths and energy.
Especially during the COVID 19 lockdown many people searched for the balance between mind and body and have approached yoga for the first time.
As I mentioned before there are many different types of Yoga ,and It is important to know the various differences and thus choose to practice yoga that best suits your needs.
The most popular Yoga styles
in the modern world are :
In conclusion, yoga is more than just a form of exercise. It is a process of transformation, physical and mental.
Yoga in Sanskrit means “Union”..It is a union between us and all aspects of our lives .We should all take a moment to appreciate ourselves and who we are in this lifetime, and instead of expectations develop gratitude. Once we develop gratitude expectations will diminish. Before we start to do yoga physically we must understand the process of achieving the asanas and prepare ourselves mentally. We must not be discouraged that we might not achieve the complete posture as we see in the book’s, and realize that the attempt to the posture is very beneficial as well. One of the biggest parts of yoga is breathing. Breathing deeply can be helpful to avoid injury , and to experience our true essence .The steady inhalation and exhalation of our breath stimulates a transformation in the mind and body ,and at the same time cleansing and purifying them so our true essence shines through.
Breathing and very basic yoga movements will create freedom in our body and prepare us for spiritual transformation and more advanced yoga postures.
Yoga is also a time for us to be in stillness. It’s very important to create a discipline within ourselves to find that time for meditation and being mindful not to give into our urges.
Have a great journey on the Path of Yoga.