If you've been wondering what is yoga and looking to get started into this ancient Indian practice that melds mind, body, meditation, and breathing we have your answers! The benefits when you start yoga will yield so many rewards that go beyond just physical fitness and well into overall wellness!
While yoga is often viewed as a physical practice, it is much more than that. The word “yoga” comes from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. It means “to yoke” or "union".
In this case, the word yoga means to yoke (or bring together) the physical self and the mind.[feast_advanced_jump_to]
The purpose behind this union is to use the physical self to quiet the mind. The quieting of the mind is what many consider to be the true purpose of yoga.
This is the state that allows us to reflect and reconnect with ourselves – an important tool in a very busy world. It works hand in hand with our meditation affirmations to re-focus on ourselves and positivity!
In the physical yoga practice, this union is made by connecting the movement with the breath.
What We Think Yoga Is
As westerners, the most common thing that comes to mind when we think of yoga is the modern form of 'hatha'. We envision yoga practitioners using 'asanas' or body postures for physical fitness, relaxation, as well as stress relief.
Additionally, many people think that yoga only consists of poses that are difficult to attain - let alone maintain for any length of time.
This is a misconception held by many. Instead, we hope that you keep reading to learn more about this wonderfully beneficial discipline that combines the mind and body!
Who is Yoga For?
Different benefits draw different people to yoga and it is for people from all different backgrounds!
Unfortunately, as it has become more popular in western culture, many people have come to associate yoga with one certain body type or image.
However, the truth is that yoga is not for one type of person or body type. It is for anyone and everyone who has a desire to practice.
It is for the young and old. For small bodies and larger bodies. It is for all genders. The only requirement to practice yoga is to want to practice it.
What is the Most Important Part of Yoga?
While each person will eventually find what is the most important part of yoga for them, there is one element that is essential to all yoga practices – breathing.
The breath is again that connection between the mind and the body. It allows us to easily move from pose to pose. It also allows us to maintain our awareness in a pose. Therefore, many people will say that the breath is the most important part of yoga.
So, if you are doubting if you can do yoga – simply ask yourself, can I breathe? If you can breathe, you can do yoga!
So What Is Yoga, Really?
Yoga is a union, with your body and mind, with the world around you.
Yoga is a complete path in and of itself (not a science, a recreation, or an art form).
Yoga helps you to understand who you are, but is not an expression of you.
Learning yoga for your health is a great start, but we think that you will take away much more from the experience than just a healthy body! Let us know what you love about yoga in the comments below!