Yoga is a journey of discovery and devotion towards ourselves; acknowledging our ability to find inner light and to connect with God, the Divine Mother, Nature. Much of the time when we talk about yoga, we talk about ‘Hatha yoga’. ‘Hatha’ means ‘Sun-Moon’ and is union. It is the joining of our body, mind and breath when we do the physical practice, and the application of this essence into our daily life. ‘Hatha’ is the joining of all things: it is the darkness that dissolves into light; the anger or fear that becomes pure love. Our nature and our legacy as human beings are to live with the oneness of all. The practice of yoga is a chance to find the way to become whole and to live life with spontaneity, freedom of spirit and an open heart. The collateral benefits of yoga are relaxation, concentration, full breathing, flexibility and strength, but the goal is not physical perfection, but the inner peace. When there is unity there is also a connection with the environment. Yoga helps us to understand our mind and our inner selves and thus to better understand the people and situations around us. It is an internal tool that creates compassion and integrates us into the world.
The elements that we practice in class are:
Asana… to cultivate the body so it is able to meditate. With the asanas (postures) we release tension, become more flexible, tone and develop balance. They also have a direct effect on internal organs, bringing more oxygen, helping blood flow, cleaning, etc... By releasing physical tension and being compassionate with our body we also releasing emotional and mental stress.
Pranayama… to cultivate our breath because it is the main source of life and we sure have a lot more ability to breathe than what we think. Full and deep breathing gives us more oxygen, good circulation, mental calmness, concentration, silence... Silence with which we can begin to hear the inner voice that guides us. Breathing connects us directly to our essence.
Meditation… to cultivate the mind to be aware of thoughts and how to act on them. As we distinguish and conquer our thoughts we become more self conscious during the day to transform negative thoughts into positives. Awareness of the present moment allow us to be free in our decisions.
Dancing… to create body awareness and release through movement. Dance creates joy, fluidity and freedom. Heating the body and releasing our thoughts of the day, we return to the Present Moment and abandon control.
Mantras… a tool for the mind. Singing mantras opens our hearts, through music and song. Chanting is a celebration; an opportunity to share with others with freedom and abandon... dance, shout, drum, sing. No rules; no boundaries...and leads us to a state of meditation and devotion.
Satsang… a meeting of wisdom, space to share, express and listen, discover and learn.