What is yoga?• Yoga is a form of exercise, which involves performing a series of poses or postures. There is an element of stretching involved, but yoga is far more than just stretching.
What is the purpose and benefits of yoga?
• The purpose of yoga is to influence, integrate and harmonize all the levels of existence. Regular practice works not just on a muscular level but also balances and regulates various systems and functions of the body.
• Physically – removes blocks and stiffness;
• Yoga movements relax muscles, lowering the demand for blood supply and helping to rest the heart and lungs;
• Yoga helps alleviate stiffness and pain in joints and keeps them healthy and supple. As we age, our joints get stiff and synovial fluid reduces causing pain when our bones rub against each other;
• Regular yoga practice helps keep joints healthy and maintain a steady production of synovial fluid;
• Tightness in the back and spinal compression can be relieved and even prevented by yoga postures that strengthen our back muscles;
• Yoga helps improve posture. Through deep breathing practices, yoga opens the chest and shoulders and helps straighten and strengthen the spine;
• Yoga can also gently release dormant energy, helping to provide vitality and strength to the body.
Pranic - rejuvenates organs with prana/life force and revitalize different systems:
• Certain yoga postures, like the shoulder stand, stimulate the thyroid gland and so help regulate metabolism;
• Other postures stimulate the pituitary gland, which is the master gland that influences all of the other glands in the endocrine system;
• Twisting works the pancreas, which is where insulin is secreted;
• Yoga also encourages detoxification through the stretching of our muscles and improving blood supply.
Mental and emotional - enter a peaceful, happy state of mind:
• Yoga and meditation activate the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing peace and calm to the mind.
Psychic - recognize strengths and weakness to develop strength of character and mind.
Spiritual - reach a state of bliss in the body and mind.
Yoga is a great way of building strength. People worry that yoga is only for those who are very flexible. But yoga is not about twisting the body into pretzel like shapes or standing on your head for hours. Yoga can be practiced at your own pace based on your age and physical condition and can be adapted to your specific needs while still being just as beneficial. Yoga has no age barrier and can include those who are weak and have chronic disease as long as they are properly supervised.
“Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.”
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