Welcome to our Beginners Yoga class!
This class is perfect for you if you are new to yoga or are returning to it after a break. It will start you off on a firm footing and brush up your skills if you have previous exposure to yoga.
Introduction to Yoga
For most people, yoga is a technique that helps improve body flexibility and helps cure physical and mental ailments. It has been proven to be true, and the belief has boosted the popularity of yoga, especially in the west. However, yoga is not just about the body and mind. As an aspiring yoga student, we would like you to have a better understanding of yoga so that you can derive maximum benefit from it.
Yoga has its origins in Hinduism. In Hinduism, life is described as a journey that takes us towards specific goals. The analogy used to describe this is that of a person travelling in a chariot drawn by five horses. The chariot is our body. It is just a vehicle that carries us. The five horses are our five senses. The set of reins that help control these five horses is our mind. The reins are in the hands of a charioteer, which is our intellect. The traveller in the chariot is our soul.
When things work as they should, the senses help take the vehicle along, controlled by the mind and guided by the intellect. However, life is not so simple; there are many distractions which occupy our mind, make us pause and do things that we should never be doing. When the mind overcomes the intellect, the result is stress, despair and a failure to reach the destination (achieve our goals). This is where yoga comes in.
Yoga helps us keep our senses and mind firmly under the control of our intellect. The result is peace, happiness and success. When you start learning yoga, keep this higher purpose in mind, and you will be motivated to stay with it and derive the maximum benefit from it.
History of Yoga
The word yoga has its origins in the Sanskrit word ‘yuj', which means to join, yoke or unite. Yoga unifies the mind, body and spirit and mentally unites us with our creator (God). Yoga originated in ancient India and consisted of physical, mental and spiritual practices. Although it is mentioned in the Rigveda, it is believed to have originated in the fifth and sixth century BCE with roots in ancient Indian Ascetic and Sramana movements. Yogic practices are described in various Hindu Upanishads, but the exact timeline is unclear.
The techniques of yoga were initially passed on orally from teachers to students with no written texts. Over 2200 years ago, Patanjali, a sage and scholar, wrote the first philosophical texts about yoga. They are called the Yoga Sutras. They gained popularity in the west in the 19th and 20th centuries after being introduced by teachers like Swami Vivekananda. After the 1980s, medical science started acknowledging the benefits of yoga, and it became hugely popular all over the world as a relaxation technique with numerous health benefits.
Patanjali has prescribed an eight-fold path or eight stages of yoga. They are Yama (morality), Niyama (self-discipline), Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (control of the senses), Dharana (concentration and inward awareness), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (the highest state of consciousness).
Benefits of Yoga
With regular practice of asanas and pranayama, you can expect:
Increased body and spine flexibility.
Improved muscle tone and strength.
More energy and vitality.
Better respiration, stamina and athletic performance.
Help in getting rid of excess weight.
Improved circulation and heart health.
Some amount of protection from injury.
Better internal organ function (cleanses internal organs).
Reduction in stress and anxiety. Relief from the associated psychosomatic problems.
Help in overcoming addictions.
If you have any medical conditions, it’s important to consult your doctor before joining the classes. You must also inform your teacher so that any necessary adjustments can be made to the exercises.
If you have any questions or queries, do not hesitate to contact us.