WHAT IS YOGA?

Myths About Yoga

  1. You need to be flexible and/or athletic to practice yoga

  2. Yoga is a religion

  3. You have to be spiritual to practice yoga

The TRUTH About Yoga

  1. You DO NOT need to be flexible or athletic. Yoga is for people of all levels & abilities

  2. Yoga is non-denominational, even though it began as a Hindu discipline

  3. The physical & mental benefits are most important

The word yoga, derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, means "to yoke", and is often interpreted as "union"or a method of connection to every living thing and the self.   

The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra approximately 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines the eight limbs of yoga: the Yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).  By exploring these eight limbs, yoga practitioners begin to refine their behavior in the outer world, and focus inwardly until they reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).

Today, most people in the Western world practice the third limb, asana, which refers to the physical postures or poses designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.  

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