What is Yoga?

When someone says the word Yoga to you, what does it bring to mind? For some it may be physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, religion, philosophical ideas, a way of life or a mixture of all of these things. Yoga is all of these things.

Yoga comes from the word 'yuj' in Sanskrit, which means to 'link' or 'join together'. Yoga happens when we have a relationship to something, or engage in a specific activity, in order to have a positive outcome. The qualities of this relationship allow us to feel supported. Yoga in essence builds our capacity for self-awareness. We are all conditioned by our experinces in ways that we are both aware and unaware of. Some useful and others not. By practising Yoga we can allow space to listen deep within, to notice our patterns and to act from a place of 'knowing' or 'intuition' rather than as a reaction based on our past.

Yoga is for every one, regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, economic status, education, race, disability, nationality, sexual orientation. Sva-Rupa in sanskrit means "one's own nature". Each of us has a unique essence / nature and Yoga can support the expression of your unique being.

Yoga is an integrative and holistic approach to physical, emotional, psyhological and spiritual well-being, where you are in the driving seat of your own self-care and healing. 

"Yoga has it's roots in Indian thought, but it's content is universal, because it is the means by which we can make the changes we desire in our lives"

T.K.V Desikachar

How Yoga is Relevant Today 

Yoga as Self-Empowerment

Yoga can be used to connect the body and the mind. It is the ability to achieve something through intense physical and mental effort.

For instance, to cultivate and maintain a state of concentration or to develop the body and the breath through refinement of various postures and breathing techniques. The consequences are power over and within the body and the mind.

Yoga as Self-Inquiry

Yoga can also be used as a tool for a deeper understanding of ourselves by listening to our-self, our actions and our motives. Yoga can be used to develop our attention allowing us to become more aware. This attention offers a space that can allow our actions or reactions to be less influenced by the usual patternings of the mind. As a consequence we can experience a deeper sense of well being and have the potential for action with greater awareness within all aspects of our lives

Yoga Practice as Therapy

Yoga, as a restorative recovery and preventative healthcare, can be a therapeutic process to help us work at changing or anticipating the effects of personal problems and illness in our lives. A Yoga practice would resepct the issues and support our intention to reduce their negative effects. 

Yoga has to be different for each person, depending on the dis-ease and our relationship to it. Yoga can also be used as a support alongside or complement other forms of healthcare.

The patient must be his own doctor, must observe himself,
use his own intelligence. Fundamentally, the solution is in the patient’s discernment. No one can understand for the patient.” TKV Desikachar