The Origin of Yoga
Yoga has been around for thousands of years and has its roots in the ancient wisdom teachings from India, more than 5,000 years B.C. The word yoga means unity and comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yug’ which means to yoke or unite.
Through the practice of yoga, we unite all aspects of our being: our bodies, our minds, our emotions, and our spirits. In the Western part of the world, we generally think of yoga as postures or “asanas”. However, yoga is much more than just postures. It is a philosophy and a way of life. If you practice yoga for a period of time you will soon come to understand what it means to take your yoga practice “off the mat” and into the rest of your life.
Who Can Benefit From Yoga?
Yoga is for everyone. No matter what your current physical condition, your fitness level, your age, or your weight, you can do yoga. I’ve said to many people who were reluctant or intimidated by the idea of attending a yoga class, “If you can breathe you can do yoga.” Yoga is one of the most gentle, beneficial, and forgiving forms of exercise on our planet. Through a regular yoga practice, you can improve your strength, and flexibility, release stress, and improve your overall wellbeing. You will also learn self-acceptance, non-judgment, and self-awareness.
Many people have a notion that Yoga is for cute girls in yoga pants showing off a cute yoga butt. That yoga is for those who can do all sorts of advanced poses, stand on their heads, touch their forehead to their knees, and twist their bodies into a position like a pretzel. Please let me dispel that rumor! It seems that those yogis get lots of attention, and possibly have been practicing for a long time. Yoga is NOT just for them, nor do you have to look like them. You don’t even need to be able to touch your toes in order to do yoga. There are modifications for every pose. Not every pose is for everybody. Through a gentle process of self-awareness and self-acceptance, you will learn just what your body needs for balance, strength, release, and renewal.
What are the Benefits of doing Yoga?
Some people may try a yoga class to improve flexibility; others may come for stress management. Others may just be curious or think there is something interesting or cool about the idea of Yoga. It is true that yoga will improve flexibility, strengthen your body, and improve your mental focus. it is also a great way to help manage and release stress. Yoga has all these benefits and more. I tell new students that it doesn’t really matter what brought them to their first yoga class, if they are open yoga will have some unexpected gifts for them.
How do I begin a Yoga Practice?
In most exercise classes or fitness activities, we are used to trying to push ourselves to the next level by going a little bit faster, a little farther, a little more weight, or pursuing a little harder. In yoga, we do the opposite. Never force yourself into a posture. Instead, when you come to your edge or feel that you have gone as far as your body can go, then back off slightly and bring your awareness back to your breath. When you are ready your body will release into the posture a little more when you exhale. Nice, full, complete breaths. If you hold your breath—then you will stay right where you are. Release your breath fully and your body will release, or surrender to the posture.
One of the most important benefits of Yoga is that it creates awareness. Rather than being caught up in the thoughts and emotions of the day, we begin to slow down and watch them. We become more aware of what is going on with our bodies and in our minds. Maybe that ache in your shoulder or lower back is something you didn’t realize you brought into your Yoga class from experience in your day. As you settle into your practice you begin to pay more attention to the messages from your body. You can send your breath to an area and have the intention to release whatever you might be holding onto in that place.
Online Yoga Classes Make it Simple
There are many ways to get started with Yoga. Ideally, you can attend a yoga class with an instructor who can show you the poses, and help you with any modifications you may need, or if you are more advanced, the adjustments that you need to take your practice to the next level. They call Yoga a “practice” for a reason. Its benefits are cumulative, and the more you consistently practice, the more you will reap the benefits in all aspects of your life.
One of the benefits of the pandemic is that many of our very gifted Yoga and Fitness instructors have made their Yoga Classes available online. You can start your practice, or join a class right from the comfort of your home or office. ReFYNE fitness offers a variety of online classes and workshops. Whether you’re a newbie or someone who wants to take their practice a little deeper we have resources for you.
An Invitation to the Gift of Yoga
I’d like to invite you to give yourself the gift of Yoga. Experience the benefits for yourself. Taking time for yourself and your yoga practice is self-care. It will improve your health, wellbeing, and the quality of your life. Sign up below to receive a FREE 2-Week Trial in our Virtual Yoga Studio where you will find an array of daily online yoga and meditation classes. Just click the link below to get started.