Yoga is a way of living that aims towards a healthy mind in a healthy body. FitYoga, with its combination of yoga and Pilates-inspired sequences, is an amazing way to gain that healthy lifestyle.
“Health is not a mere absence of disease. It is a dynamic expression of life – in terms of how joyful, loving and enthusiastic you are.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
This is where yoga helps: postures, pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation are a holistic fitness package.
Postures or Asanas
Very often, yoga is only partially understood as being limited to asanas (yoga poses). As such, its benefits are only perceived to be at the body level and we fail to realize the immense benefits yoga offers in uniting the body, mind and breath. When you are in harmony, the journey through life is calmer, happier and more fulfilling.
The true essence of yoga revolves around elevating the life force or ‘Kundalini’ at the base of the spine. This is achieved through a series of physical and mental exercises. The physical methods are various yoga postures or ‘asanas’ that aim to keep the body healthy.
The mental techniques include breathing exercises or pranayama and meditation or dhyana to discipline the mind.
Breathing or Pranayama
Prana means life force or breath sustaining the body; Ayama translates as “to extend or draw out.” Together the two mean breath extension or control.
Inhale, Exhale, Relax.
Yoga Breathing or Pranayama is the foundation of your yoga practice. It begins with deepening your breathing, then moves into more advanced breathing exercises such as Kapalabhati and the Alternate Nostril Breath.
Pranayama goes hand in hand with the Asanas and is used before, during and after asana practice. These two Yogic Principles together are considered as the highest form of purification and self-discipline, covering both mind and body. Breath practice can help relieve minor fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
Meditation or Dhyana
“Meditation” and “mindfulness” are buzzwords these days for good reason. Yogis have been practicing dhyana (meditation) for millennia. Meditation is the act of focusing your mind.
The first step to successful meditation is practicing it often. But even in a class where the yoga teacher sets time aside for meditation, getting the hang of how to meditate can be quite challenging, whether you’re a beginner to yoga or you’ve been taking yoga classes for a while. Considering that serious yogis spend a lifetime honing the art of meditation, there’s no sense in pressuring yourself to perfect your own meditation technique after just a few sessions.
Mind, Body & Soul
Man is a mental, physical and spiritual being; yoga helps promote a balanced development of all mind, body and soul. Other forms of physical exercises, like aerobics, assure only physical well-being. They have little to do with the development of the spiritual or astral body.
Yoga is not about touching your toes. It’s about what you learn on the way down. – Jigar Gor.
Practicing yoga might seem like just stretching, but it can do much more for your body from the way you feel, look and move. The art of practicing yoga helps in controlling an individual’s mind, body and soul. It brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peaceful body and mind; it helps manage stress and anxiety and keeps you relaxed. It also helps in increasing flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It improves respiration, energy and vitality.
Yoga is about community and union on a number of levels. First, the union and harmony between your own body, mind and soul. Second, the union between yourself and your yoga teacher, and between yourself and fellow practitioners. On a broader level, the connection between the studio and its community is also important.
Opening a yoga studio in Windsor is a natural step for me, as my family lives here and we are closely connected to the community. As an active supporter of this community and a variety of causes, FitYoga Windsor is a natural extension of my commitment to myself and to my community, as I want to share the beautiful gift of Yoga – along with all of its many benefits – with you all.