First what is yoga? Is it a religion or an exercise program? Well the short answer is neither. Yoga is a philosophy and a science. Being a science there is no dogma or belief system. It’s the science that teaches you breath control, simple meditation, and body postures that allow you to be relaxed and healthy. The meaning of the word yoga is union. Simply put yoga will teach you to unify your mind, body, and soul. Now tell me, who couldn’t use that in their life??
A yoga class will enable you to be present. We are all so used to living in our minds distracted by our phones and our to-do list that we rarely notice the present moment. Over time your yoga practice will begin to help you “tame” your mind. The classes are designed to keep you present. The sequence of postures and the breathing cues will keep you in the present moment. Connecting your body, mind, and breath helps to direct our attention inward. Through the process of inward attention we become more aware of who we are.
Yoga classes often start with a Dharma talk. The teacher will simply relay a story or a quote for the theme of the class. The messages are always positive and up lifting. They could be about gratitude, forgiveness, or kindness just to name a few. Let your yoga class serve as a reminder to forgive, love, and be grateful. All classes end with savasana, which is my favorite 10 minutes of the day. It is a time to thank your body for all it’s hard work each and every day and to give it the gift of rest.
The physical effects of yoga are easy to see and measure. Your body will be leaner and your muscles longer. You will be flexible and graceful even if you never were before. Improvement in flexibility can be seen with each class. Who doesn’t love instant gratification? Yoga can be as physically challenging or as restorative as you need it to be. Yoga practitioners understand that resting and restoring your muscles are just as important as building them and there are classes offered for whatever you body calls for.
The class normally ends with the sound of OM, which is simply a sound that makes a vibration that is said to connect all things. The teacher will say Namaste, which is translated as “I bow to you”. The teacher is simply acknowledging the light in each and every person’s heart and honoring it.
We are constantly bombarded with negative images, stories, people, and events. Let your yoga class envelop you with it’s positive messages and energy and may you carry that with you throughout your week. The benefits of yoga on your body and your mind are powerful and instantaneous. You will feel it the moment you say “Namaste”.
Stop by the studio and let Sol Full Yoga Studio be your light.