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Yoga for Life

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is an investment in oneself that with continuous practice yields dividends for life. Feeling younger, stronger and more balanced to deal with life is hard to ignore. Yoga is a practice that you can continue for the rest of your life. It does not take the place of your medical care but can be a complement to medical care.

Benefits for the mind and nervous system are increased concentration, calmness, feelings of contentment, greater self-confidence and increased control over mood swings. Physical benefits of yoga are plentiful and enduring. With regular practice of Yoga postures and breathing techniques, benefits can be produced in the body such as improved balance, flexibility, range of motion along with increased strength and vitality. Regular Yoga means taking time for you a minimum of 3 times per week. The more often you practice the more benefits you will notice and the more you will want to practice.

If you suffer from any of the following conditions you can find relief in a regular Yoga practice: Unmanaged Mental Stress, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Insomnia, Depression, Lack of Focus or Concentration, Chronic Pain, Addictions or addictive behavior patterns or PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (just to name a few).

Add a few minutes of Meditation or Yoga Nidra several days a week and will amplify the Yoga benefits, including getting more done in less time because of greater ability to concentrate and focus. If you think you do not have a few minutes for meditation, then you really need it!

What is Yoga?

The practice of Hatha Yoga started in India thousands of years ago to find “enlightenment or Purpose of Life”. Some believe it originated between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago along with it’s “sister” science Ayurveda, the Science of Self-Healing. In Western culture Yoga is often thought of as a series of Postures, or Asanas, that are practiced as a cardio work out. Yoga is a work out that can rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.

The practice of Yoga is so vast that it is possible for anyone, at any age, at any level of physical capability to practice and to make sweeping changes in their lives. It can be a narrowly or broadly focused. People start with an aspect of Yoga where their interests or greatest needs lie.

A few aspects of Yoga are:

Meditation (or concentration) which calms the mind and helps one learn to focus.

Pranayama (breathing patterns) which helps to move energy in the body, calms the mind and prepares it for meditation.

Asanas (Yoga Postures) these help make the body flexible, supple, strong and also prepares the body for sitting in meditation.

Yamas – (suggested behavior patterns) promote being kind, respectful, truthful, non-violent towards yourself and others.

Niyamas – (Attitudes that we adopt towards ourselves) cleanliness, being content with modest living, keeping the body fit and healthy.

Svadhyaya – (Self Study or Investigation) Who are we? What is our relationship to the world? Perhaps what is our life’s purpose? Self study can be helped by reading, studying, reflecting and discussing some of the Yoga texts that are available in many languages. (See the suggested reading list or join in our book club discussions)