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What the heck is yoga?

If you haven’t done yoga before you might be thinking you need to look fabulous, have fancy leggings and be at a beach with a sunset in the background and bend your leg behind your ear. Like so many things yoga these days is being commercialised to make you want that fabulous body, those fancy leggings, the unachievable looks, the beach and peace that is emanated from those glossy magazine images and facebook posts. That is not yoga – that is marketing…

The ultimate goal of yoga is to still the mind. Like Pattabhi Jois so beautifully said “Yoga is an internal practice. The rest is just a circus”.

Originally the yoga asanas (yoga poses) which today we mainly know in the west as yoga were only practiced to have a healthy and flexible body to be able to sit in long periods of mediation to still the mind.  I attach an image below of the 8 limbs of yoga that the serious yoga practitioner attempts to live by. As you can see the Asana practice (postures) are only a small part of a full yoga practice. Many of us already practice yoga with the moral code and personal conduct already being present in many people’s lives.

However we also have to view our potential yoga practice in a practical way. Not many of us in the western world have the time to sit under a tree all day trying to still our mind with long meditation practices to reach Samadhi. So yes the physical postures are immensely beneficial to our bodies that are often forced to be in a static position all day (office / desk) or being overused in physically challenging jobs doing repetitive movements (pack-house, building, pruning etc). So it is really important for most of us to bring balance back to bodies with yoga postures.

In my classes at Heartspace Yoga I teach gentle and basic Hatha Yoga and Yin Yoga. Both styles are achievable for most of us. They are gentle forms of yoga and my focus is on creating a moving mediation. So while we do the postures we focus on our breathing and on stilling the mind. In all of my classes we have brief meditations at the beginning and at the end of the class, there are some Pranayam / Yogic breathing exercises and the postures. My aim is for my students to leave relaxed, energised, detoxed, with an open body and mind, with batteries charged and a calmer nervous system.

Most of us lead lives that are too full, with to do list that are too long for anybodies good. In the western world especially we have a society that is stressed, depressed, depleted, chronically ill and reaching for more and more accomplishments until our bodies completely crash. Yoga can help you to bring balance back into your life, find clarity in your head as to where to go next by stilling the mind, allowing our bodies to heal and restore by calming the nervous system, be more present in your life and make better decisions. There are many studies available online that proof the manifold benefits of yoga.

The Hatha Yoga I teach is a mix of standing and floor based poses with dynamic movements that work on the muscular system, increasing strength, balance and stamina. The Yin Yoga is mainly floor based with long held poses (2-6 minutes), which works on the connective tissue, Facia and Joint Health. Yin Yoga is a beautiful practice to balance out physical practices that you might already be doing. Ideally both styles are practiced to benefit the whole body.

The first session is free for new students – so why not come along to try yoga and bring more balance into your life and body. For more information you can check out my website heartspace.nz or like my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/heartspacenz/.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me silke@heartspace.nz or call me 021 – 104 56 66.


Categories: Yoga Lifestyle

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