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What is Yoga?

What is Yoga?

The word yoga, translated in Sanskrit, means union. When you ask Google what yoga is, it says it is “a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific body postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.” To me, yoga means something different to everyone. For some, yoga is more of a sport, something that is used to tone their bodes and help them find focus or clarity in their minds. Others, find it to be a spiritual practice, one in which you find God through the regular practice of poses, also known as asana. I find it to be a practice that transformed my life, something that keeps revealing itself to me. Yoga continuously forces me to look at my strengths, weaknesses and the constant unfolding of my life journey through new layers in my poses, mind, body and soul.

To me, the benefits of yoga are endless. Yoga brings focus, center, balance, calm, length, strength, confidence, flexibility, patience, health, love and a sense of light to the mind, body and soul. While the medical benefits are still being researched and the growing list of benefits are still being found, I can speak from experience when I say yoga definitely helped to tone my body. It also helps to keep me in shape and lean. Of course, it all depends on what kind of yoga you are practicing and what you are looking to achieve.  The most notable differences and benefits in my client’s bodies is an increase in flexibility, confidence, muscle strength and toning of the body, weight loss, a connection with breath, mind and body, a knowledge of how to protect yourself from injury, energy, stress management and improvement in circulation. I have also found that it brings my clients mental clarity and helps them to let go of what they may be holding onto by focusing on the present, their movements and their breath. For many, yoga can be challenging and can cause frustration. Using yoga philosophy allows students to calm the mind and give their body what it needs in that moment.