is not a religion. It does not threaten or interfere with anyone’s personal beliefs. It is a scientific, time-honored (5,000-11,000 years old) means of attaining better health, by integrating body, mind, and spirit. For those interested, it can increase one’s spiritual awareness regardless of background or creed.
Yoga postures or asanas exercise every part of the body, stretching and toning your muscles and joints, your spine and your entire skeletal system. Yoga not only works on the body’s frame, but also on the organs and glands, and the entire nervous system as well. Yogic breathing exercises or pranayama revitalizes the body and helps to control the mind, which can leave you feeling calm and refreshed, while the practice of meditation gives you mental clarity and helps to stabilize and quiet the mind.
The word Yoga in Sanskrit is yug or yuj, which means Yoke or Union; the meaning of “oneness.” Yoga is total absorption. One with everything. The underlying purpose of all the different aspects of yoga is to reunite the individual Self with the Absolute or pure consciousness.
In recent years, medical research has begun to pay attention to the effects of Yoga. Studies have shown that relaxation relieves high blood pressure and that regular asana and pranayama practice can help such diverse ailments as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, chronic fatigue, asthma, varicose veins heart conditions, and much more. Lab tests have also confirmed yogis’ ability to consciously control autonomic breathing or involuntary functions, such as temperature, heartbeat, and blood pressure. One study of the effects of Hatha Yoga over six months demonstrated the following effects: significantly increased lung capacity and respiration, reduced body weight and girth, an improved ability to resist stress, a decrease in cholesterol and blood sugar levels, all resulting in a stabilizing and restorative effect on the body’s natural systems. There can no longer be a doubt of Yoga’s effectiveness as both a curative and preventative medicine. Yoga therapist are already working in hospitals and alongside physicians, and yoga is regarded as a form of medicine.
Preparation for Yoga:
- Arrive at least ten minutes early to allow a proper orientation before class begins.
- Remove shoes, throw out gum, sign the student release waiver, and handle any payments.
- Practice on an empty stomach. I recommend that you wait at least 1.5-2 hours after eating to practice yoga. If eating is a necessity, choose something light, or drink a glass of juice.
- Drink lots of water in the 24 hours prior to class. Dehydration will negatively affect your experience.
- Dress in non-restrictive clothing that allows you to move comfortably and sweat freely.
- Bring a towel.
- Alert your teacher to any injuries prior to class so she can provide any needed modifications to the postures. This is for your safety and the longevity of your practice.
- Acknowledge your limitations. With regular practice, good alignment, and proper breathing, you are well on your way to healing and progress.
- If you are not feeling well during class, recline on your back. Please make every effort to stay in the room until the end of class.
- If you have questions for the teacher, refrain from asking them during the class. Tracy will make herself available before or after class for any questions or concerns.
- Please show respect to the space and people around you.
- Enjoy your experience!
The Sanskrit word Namaste is said in both greeting and departure. Its meaning and gesture offer love, passion, service, and respect. By bringing these qualities into our practice. We honor the true spirit of yoga.