The classical techniques of yoga go back to almost 5,000 years ago. No one knows exactly when it was developed but carvings of yoga positions in stones have been found by archeologists. In ancient times, the desire for better health, long life and personal freedom resulted in this system of physical and mental exercise called “Yoga” which has been spread throughout the world. The word Yoga means “to join or yoke together” and it brings the mind and body together into one harmonious experience. Many people do yoga to relax, get healthy and bring the mind to peace.
Yoga is developed on three main structures: breathing, exercise and meditation. They are designed to put pressure on the glandular systems of the body to increase efficiency and total health. Breathing techniques in yoga are based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the body and that it helps improve the function of body and mind. Breathing and exercise prepare the body for meditation, which allows silence and healing from stress built up in the body.
There are eight steps of Classical Yoga: 1) yama, meaning “restraint” from violence, lying, stealing and hoarding; 2) niyama, meaning “observance”- contentment, tolerance, study and remembrance; 3) asana - physical exercises; 4) pranayama - breathing techniques; 5) pratyahara - preparation for meditation; 6) dharana - concentration; 7) dhyana - meditation; 8) samadhi - absorption or realization of the essential nature of the self. In our class we typically practice steps 3,4 and 5.
Many different types of yoga are practiced around the world. Raja Yoga (also known as the “royal road”) incorporates exercise and