Yoga is a practice that aims to unite the body, mind and spirit through physical postures, breath control, and meditation. The word "yoga" derives from the Sanskrit word "yuj," which means "to yoke" or "to unite." The origins of yoga can be traced back to ancient India, deeply intertwined with Hindu and Buddhist spirituality, where it was developed as a spiritual practice to achieve self-realisation and liberation and to help practitioners achieve a deeper connection with themselves and the world around them.
The roots of Yoga roots can be traced back over 5,000 years ago with the first written references to yoga being found 3,500 years ago in stanzas of the Rig Vedas, a collection of texts containing songs, mantras, and rituals used by the Brahmans. The practice of yoga was slowly developed and defined by the Brahmans and Rishis, who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, the collection of 200 Vedic texts. The Bhagavad-Gita (500 BCE), is the most renowned of the Yogic scriptures.
Classical yoga (2000 years ago) was systematised by the Indian Sage, Pantajali, who documented his work in The Yoga Sutras. Pantajali organised the practice of yoga into an Eight Limb Pathway containing steps and stages towards attaining Samadi or enlightenment. Following Pantajali, yoga masters created a system to rejuvenate the body and prolong life. This post-classical period saw the emergence of Tantra Yoga and Hatha Yoga, the exploration of physical-spiritual connections and body-centered practices. Today, especially in the west, modern yoga is now more widely known as Hatha Yoga, with specific styles of yoga such as Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Bikram being introduced. However, the real teachings and awareness in yoga go beyond the physical/asana practice and involve the union of body, mind, breath, and soul.
Yoga has become a popular form of exercise and stress-relief in many cultures around the world. The benefits of practising yoga are numerous, including increased flexibility, strength, and balance, improved respiratory and cardiovascular function, reduced stress and anxiety and enhanced overall well-being. Additionally, regular practice of yoga has been shown to help alleviate chronic pain, improve sleep quality, and even lower blood pressure.
SEE MORE DETAILS OF THE BENEFITS OF PRACTICING YOGA BELOW:
✨ Reduces stress and anxiety:
One of the primary benefits of practising yoga is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga involves deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness practices that can help calm the mind and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This can be particularly beneficial for those who struggle with chronic stress or anxiety disorders.
✨ Improves flexibility and balance:
Yoga involves various poses that stretch and strengthen the muscles, which can help improve flexibility and balance. Over time, consistent yoga practice can lead to increased flexibility and better posture, which can help prevent injuries and improve overall physical performance.
✨ Enhances mental clarity and focus:
Yoga involves practising mindfulness and focusing on the present moment, which can help improve mental clarity and focus. Regular yoga practice has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory, as well as increase overall productivity and creativity.
✨ Boosts immune system function:
Yoga has been shown to boost immune system function by reducing stress hormones and increasing the production of antibodies that help fight off infections. This can be particularly beneficial during times of high stress or when the immune system is compromised.
✨ Improves cardiovascular health:
Certain types of yoga, such as Vinyasa or Power Yoga, can be quite vigorous and can help improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and improving circulation. Yoga can also help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
✨ Promotes better sleep:
Yoga has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration, particularly for those who struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders. Certain yoga poses and relaxation techniques can help calm the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
✨ Helps with pain management:
Yoga can be an effective complementary therapy for managing chronic pain. Yoga poses and breathing techniques can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation in the body. It can also help improve overall mobility and flexibility, which can be particularly beneficial for those with conditions such as arthritis.
✨ Cultivates mindfulness and spirituality:
Through the practice of yoga, individuals can cultivate a greater sense of awareness and presence, which can help them connect with their own spirituality. Yoga can help practitioners tap into their intuition, enhance their ability to be present in the moment, and develop a greater sense of inner peace and contentment.
Practising yoga has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. It is a practice that can be tailored to fit the needs of individuals of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you are looking to reduce stress, improve flexibility, or enhance your overall health and well-being, yoga can be a valuable tool in achieving these goals.
Our Soul Sanctuary membership offers beginners, intermediate and advanced yoga flows in many different styles, asana movement breakdown, yoga philosophy, meditation, pranayama/breathwork, sound healing, free movement, journaling practices and monthly themes.
We offer a '30-Day Beginners Yoga Course' on the Soul Sanctuary membership that you can begin and take in your own time at any time you like. Click the button below to sign up to our FREE 7-DAY TRIAL and give it a try.
We also have a FREE 90-MINUTE BEGINNERS WORKSHOP for you to enjoy.