Yoga was founded in Northern India dating back 5000 years and was practiced by only the highest of priests.
The word ‘yoga’ literally means, union.
The union of what? The union of the mind, body and spirit connecting with BREATH.
After all, when a child is born, parents, doctors and nurses anxiously wait for the baby’s first breath. And sadly, taking the last breath is how we leave this world. We take for granted all the many functions our organs and brain have to undergo just to facilitate a simple breathe, and yet, we’re doing it all wrong.
Stress and anxiety in our modern-day society along with environmental pollution have changed our breathing patterns to shallow, weak inhales and exhales resulting in chronic disease. That is why in a traditional yoga class, one starts with breath work. Ancient yogis knew the importance of the breath and termed it Pranayama, the regulation of life force (breath). During this exercise to regulate the breath, the lungs become full of oxygen and brain activity starts to normalize with the rush of oxygen to the brain. Deep breathing starts to slow down the heart rate and prepares your body for the asanas, the postures.
Through purposefully- designed postures, the body undergoes a stretching- of the body and the mind. As you move from pose to pose for 45 minutes, you start to become aware of your bodies limitations. The mind starts to resist and it’s this balancing act of the mind and body that yoga is known for in the west.
The last part of a traditional yoga sequence is meditation. It is said that THIS is the most difficult ‘pose’ from the 1,350 yoga poses for quieting the mind is not an easy task in today’s overly-stimulated world. Whether you are guided through a meditation or sitting in silence, this last bit of yoga allows for a deeper connection to your thoughts. It’s a surrendering of the body and your thoughts- a letting go!
Yoga is a full mind-body experience like no other practice. That’s right- a practice. It is not an exercise routine, but an ancient discipline that fits perfectly into modern times. By controlled breathing, and slowing down the central nervous system, yoga holds space for your body and mind to heal as it is meant to.
Western yoga has given birth to several different types of yoga practices making this philosophy accessible to all. There is Power Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Hot Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and many more. Meditation has also evolved in the west. You have Transcendental Meditation, Guided Meditation, Zen Meditation, Mantra Meditation and more. I would encourage you to try more than one and with different teachers to find a yoga practice that fits with your lifestyle and goals.
Namaste’ – (May the light in me, see the light in you.)
Health Benefits of Yoga & Meditation:
- Stress relief
- Increased flexibility.
- Regulates blood pressure
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
- Cardio and circulatory health.
- Reduce anxiety
- Deep restful sleep
- Feeling peaceful and centered
- Reduction of brain fog, better clarity
- Increased focus and concentration
Nina Patel is a Meditation Teacher and Kids Yoga Instructor (CKYT). Her love of yoga and meditation began in college and she attributes this ancient practice to helping her cope with the challenges of modern life: a career, marriage and motherhood. She started teaching 10 years ago taking some breaks in the middle to focus on her personal journey. Nina now dedicates herself to teaching meditation full-time offering classes, workshops and webinars around the country. She has been living in Sienna for the past 15 years with her husband and three children.
Saturday, March 25th 9 am- 5 pm
Sienna Women’s Yoga + Meditation Retreat
Facilitated by Sienna Yogis, Trish Jacquet and Nina Patel
Register at http://siennaretreat.wixsite.com/sienna-wellness
Yoga classes are offered by Trish Jacquet in Sienna and Snap Fitness. Email Trish Jacquet for more information- email@example.com