"Yoga is not something that we do but something that we become and are"
Sri Satguru Subramuniyaswami
I strongly believe that Yoga should not be thought of as an exercise class but as a way of being.
There is no doubt that the practice of yoga is of huge benefit to our physical health and there is a lot of scientific research to support this. However, in India we practice yoga not to develop a beautiful body but to develop inner calm and a positive attitude to life. India is a very crazy place and there are so very many of us often living in very challenging circumstances it is extremely important that we cultivate these qualities!
Yoga in India: You often read that asanas (yoga poses) were being practised long before (as early as 2000BC) because ancient clay seals found in the Indus Valley seem to show some very basic asanas. But actually we do not know this for sure! The European Research Council has recently given a £1.5m grant to leading academics to spend time in India locating and preserving ancient texts that may hold the answer to this question. We do know from our ancient texts that asana practice began in India and have been practiced in India since at least 500BC.
Yoga in the West: Yoga was not brought to the Western world until the very late 1800's. Now you can practice many styles of yoga and asanas (yoga poses) that we have not even heard of in India! However, sadly in the West many styles of yoga focus only on asana practice and do not cover the other aspects of yoga so they are an incomplete practice.
There are five distinct aspects to yoga:
• Positive Thinking and Meditation
• Proper Breathing (pranayama)
• Proper Exercise (asana)
• Proper Relaxation (savasana)
• Proper Lifestyle
In my classes we explore the first four of these. You can read more about them on my class format page
. Please ask if you would like my handout on the fifth aspect.