The word Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit. Yoga is a form of exercise based on the belief that the body, breath and mind are intimately connected. By controlling the breath, stretching and holding the body in steady poses, called asanas, Yoga creates harmony.
So, instead of talking about peace and joy, about God, we do something practical to realize God. We keep the mind clean, the body clean, the life well disciplined and the heart dedicated. We learn to stay away from anything that disturbs our peace, or that will bring disappointments, anxieties and worries.
Many people are unfamiliar with the health benefits of Yoga. And many are preconditioned to seek only traditional medical treatment modalities, such as drugs and surgery. Yoga can greatly reduce the rapidly rising costs of medical care, institutionalization, the use of prescription drugs in addition to a myriad of other related medical services.
The Yoga class may be one of the rare hours in the week when you do something for yourself. The Yoga standing poses reestablish our connection to Planet Earth. We develop a sense of groundedness, stability and balance. We regain confidence.
Whether you are in good health or have many physical problems you mightwant to start with simple postures including ones in which you are lying down. You will begin with learning good body alignment. From there you can gradually work up as you begin to befriend the various Yoga postures.
Inverted poses counteract the aging process by reversing the gravitational pull on the internal organs and by improving the blood flow. Inverting safely is one of the greatest gifts of Yoga.
Awareness of the breath is foundational to all other practices associated with Yoga. As you become more aware of your breath you will become more in tune with your thoughts. You will deepen your connection with God as your breathe deeply of the Holy Spirit.
As you stretch you will get more in tune with your body and gain greater control over it. You will learn to release tension and bring healing and relief to aches and pains long held due to stiffness and injury. You will learn to direct God’s healing energy to where it needs to go- no matter the ailment.
Yoga is good for just about whatever ails you including cancer, Parkinson’s, heart disease, MS, autoimmune diseases, joint replacements, arthritis, weight control, back pain, osteoporosis, stress, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, addictions and the list goes on.
Yoga boosts your immune system making it less likely that you will get sick. It is especially beneficial for enhancing longevity and allowing for graceful aging. It keeps you limber, strong, stretched and toned. Careful attention is paid to the spine. “You are as young as your spine is limber.”
No one should be discouraged if they have never done Yoga before. Many students begin young and many begin in their 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s. Nor should you be discouraged if you haven’t been exercising and feel stiff. Yoga is just what you need. Take it slowly and at your own pace. All movements are done with the breath, awareness and intention. Any posture can be modified to suit your body. You will not hurt yourself.
Yoga will give you a life-long way to exercise consciously that will surely contribute to a healthier life. All you need is an open mind. Doing Yoga feels good. And it will allow more time and space for creative ideas and feelings to penetrate your heart and soul.
Remember that the body is the temple of the holy spirit. It pleases God when we take good care of our bodies and when we strengthen the mind-body connection.
“It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters.” - Ursula LeGuin