Yoga

B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the most influential yoga masters of our times, explained what yoga is the following way:

 “The primary aim of yoga is to restore the mind to simplicity and peace, to free it from confusion and distress. This sense of calm comes from the practice of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing). Unlike other forms of exercise which strain muscles and bones, yoga gently rejuvenates the body. By restoring the body, yoga frees the mind from the negative feelings caused by the fast pace of modern life. The practice of yoga fills up the reservoirs of hope and optimism within you.”   B.K.S. Iyengar

The more we practise the faster this reservoir is filling and we experience hope, optimism, strength, emotional balance, freedeom not just at the end of a balanced yoga practice, but slowly also in our day-to-day life.

One of my typical yoga session offers the following:

Asana

ustrasana.. is the Sanskrit word for Yoga postures, which help to invite flexibility and strength into our body and mind. A regular asana practice helps to ease discomfort related to back problems, poor posture and poor digestion. Furthermore the nervous system relaxes, stress levels are reduced, which normally results in a good night sleep and helps attain higher energy levels. Correct breathing during the practise offers the opportunity to relearn a healthy breathing pattern. The breath brings together body, mind, and soul, enabling the 3 levels of our existence to reconnect again, that’s what makes the difference between yoga and a workout.

Pranayama

The word is composed of two Sanskrit words: Prana which means life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, and Ayāma meaning to extend. Therefore pranayama means the extension of the prana or breath or extension of the life force. On a practical level there are different techniques available, which help to calm our mind, help us to develop focus and clarity. Pranayama also  purifies the subtler layers of our body and is even more powerful than asanas.

Meditation

“Meditation is when we are becoming one with the object of our concentration” Patanjali III.3. Lots of techniques exists to help us to deepen our concentration. The most I love is AUM chanting, the easiest, most powerful and energising meditation technique available.

 

All of the above need to practised on a very regular basis in order to enjoy their benefits fully.

 

These techniques alongside a healthy diet and a suitable life style raises the necessary awareness that allows us to bring this balanced state from the yoga mat into other aspects of our lives.