Yoga is like nothing else. It is a science of the soul that will deliver what you are seeking when you align your actions with your intentions. Yoga has a way of revealing one's true self and helps us to experience ourselves as whole and complete.
The physical benefits are numerous including many of the gains that you'd get from more intense cardiovascular exercise such as lower blood pressure, increased circulation, immunity enhancement and stronger muscles. What sets yoga apart from other physical activities is that it also creates increased bone health, prevents cartilage and joint breakdown, builds spinal strength, increases flexibility and most importantly provides remarkable stress reduction.
This practice works on your system as a whole, and as you learn to breathe deeply into the opening that happens in your physical body, it creates shifts in the mental and emotional body as well. Learning to sit with discomfort in the inner silence of your own being fosters a deep sense of self trust as you come to know yourself in a new way. By habitually entering a space where you watch the mental patterns of thoughts, worries and self-talk rise and fall, the ability to observe your own mind strengthens, empowering you to make choices in responding to your mental patterns rather than reacting. Life experiences are stored within your bodily tissues, sometimes creating emotional and mental blockages that can prevent you from moving forward or acting as the person you know you are. Yoga works to clear blockages in the Nadis which are the channels through which prana (life force energy) flows. When prana flows freely through a person, he or she is healthy and vibrant, expressing their life's ever expanding potential.
Most of the physical practice, originally termed as “Hatha”, that is taught in many yoga studios today has been adapted and created to suit modern day culture. The earliest written record of yoga asana (posture) is speculated to have been written between the 5th the 8th century but was scarcely mentioned in books and took a major backseat to meditation and pranayama (breath control exercises) until the 15th century when the famous yogic text Hatha Yoga Pradipika was written, which gives detailed instruction for just 15 postures which are mostly seated. These 15 poses were envisioned to release energy blockages in the body, heal imbalances and prepare the body for higher states of consciousness in meditation. The flowing yoga that we practice today started developing around the late 18th and early 19th century when yoga masters from the East began to travel to the West to share their wisdom and healing, and thus adapted this practice which continues to evolve in the care of modern day luminaries and visionaries.
Whether you're seeking stress relief, higher states of conscouness, healing from physical or emotional trauma, or more strength and flexibility, a regular yoga practice help will light the way.