What is Yoga

The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind two things together and is often interpreted as "union" or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini.

Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you to relax and manage stress and anxiety.

Yoga is a combination of:

  • Mind (calming mental and emotional focus)
  • Energy (life-force cultivation through breathing practices)
  • Body (movement and postures)

Yoga is perhaps the most time-tested, powerful method of self-improvement known to man. Over 5,000 years old, it utilizes mental focus and deep breathing while performing a series of special poses called asanas (ah-sa-nah’s). Yoga appears to be primarily physical, but what makes yoga radically different from traditional “workouts” is the remarkable internal impact of the practice.

Hatha Yoga

Yoga has many styles, forms, and intensities. Most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it's all about your personal preferences. Hatha yoga is the main style practiced at Solace Yoga Studio. Hatha is also translated as ha meaning "sun" and tha meaning "moon." This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance.

Hatha Yoga Attempts to:

  • Balance the mind and body via physical poses called "asanas".
  • Improve the body's physical health and clear the mind in preparation for meditation.
  • Teach poise, balance, and strength through the physical poses (asanas).

The core components of Hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:

  • Asanas - Yoga poses are called asanas (ah-sa-nah), designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits. The yoga poses are designed to increase strength and flexibility as well as open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.
  • Breathing - Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind. It is extremely helpful to remember yogic breathing techniques when you encounter stress or anxiety.

This is a very brief description of yoga philosophy, which is so comprehensive that it deals with every aspect of life. It is far beyond the scope of this webpage. To learn more about a specific topic feel free to ask one of our yoga instructors if they have a book they would recommend or visit your local bookstore.