The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word for ‘union’ and historically refers to significantly more than exercise alone. Yoga consists of predominantly three elements that allow the practitioner to reconnect their mind, body and soul; these include breathing, postures and meditation.
In Ayurveda thought, breathing is the life force known as Prana. Prana enters the body through the very first breath when a person is born and is the last essence to leave the physical body when a person dies. Breathing is an essential part of yoga, learning to control breath is thought to reconnect the mind and body. It is through following the breath that one can focus on the present moment.
During a yoga session particular yoga postures are healed. Some positions are to improve balance and posture, others are to strengthen and tone muscles whilst others are to improve the functioning of the nervous and hormonal systems and general functioning of body organs.
Meditation is the third side of the yoga triangle. Meditation is a conscious act of relaxation and mental stillness that underpins the practice of yoga, it is critical in order that the positive experience of yoga can be prolonged throughout the day.
Regular yoga has been found to reduce stress and anxiety, improve physical fitness and stamina as well as enhancing the nervous, immune and blood systems within the body.