Surya Namaskar Yoga Studio – Breathe. Relax. Rejuvenate
The word yoga means union in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. It refers to traditional physical, mental and spiritual disciplines whose goal is to attain a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. However, today we commonly refer only to the practice of physical postures, in Sanskrit asanas, from the teachings of yoga. The combination of exercise, breathing and meditation is thus the basis of our class.
The first Friday of the month is a guided meditation class in yoga-nidra. The practice of relaxation is an important part of your yoga practice – the word itself refers to conscious awareness in deep sleep and the meditation reduces tension and anxiety.
Many people think that yoga is stretching but while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose.
Yoga teachers will often refer to “your practice,” which means your individual experience with yoga over time. The amazing thing about yoga is that your practice is always evolving, so while the poses themselves do not change, your relationship to them will. Anyone can start a yoga practice, even if you don’t feel very flexible or very strong. These things will develop over time.
The beautiful thing about “your practice” is also that it encourages the noncompetitive spirit of yoga. One of the most difficult, but ultimately most liberating things about yoga is letting go of the ego and accepting that no one is better than anyone else. We are all simply doing our own practice.
In addition to practicing the poses, yoga classes may also include instruction on breathing, call and response chanting, meditation, or an inspirational reading by the teacher. The variety and amount of this will depend on the individual teacher and the tradition in which they have trained.
Some people find that the physical practice of yoga becomes a gateway into a spiritual exploration while others just enjoy a wonderful low-impact workout that makes them feel great. Whatever your tendency, you will be able to find a yoga class that suits your style.