The word “Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word Yuj, which means “integration”, “union”, “wholeness”. Yoga takes a holistic approach, providing tools to help maintain or to re-establish a sense of balance and harmony, enabling us to cope with the challenges of every day life.
Although there are many forms of Yoga, Hatha Yoga is the form that is most popular in the West. The word Hatha is made up of “ha” meaning Sun and “tha” meaning Moon. It comprises physical postures which are known as asanas, breathing techniques, cleansing routines and various relaxation techniques, and is said to prepare the body for meditation.
The postures condition the muscles supporting the joints to keep them firm and strong. Joints are encouraged to move more freely, and the asanas take each joint through its full range of motion. Most asanas relate to a specific area of the body, having a tonic effect on muscles, joints, visceral organs and the nervous system.
“The objective in asana work is not how far you can stretch or contort your body but to combine stability (stira) with ease/relaxation (sukha).” BWY website
Yoga can be done by anyone, and the movements can be adjusted to take into account health issues.
You may wish to come to a yoga class to increase your flexibility, to take time out for yourself or to find a quiet place in an ever changing, stressful world.