I just finished my 200 hr Yoga teacher training! I was blessed to delve into yoga for 200 hours and wet my curiosity to learn more. Learning about yoga has improved the quality of my life, helping me to more clearly see the path for my life, my purpose, my dharma.
Yoga means union. It is a linking of our body, mind and spirit, bringing unity to our lives.
Yoga is more than postures, asana, and has many forms. Raja yoga, or Ashtanga yoga, follows the eight-limbed path, only one of which is asana.
The great Yoga teacher Patanjali wrote about the eight-limbed path (Astanga yoga) in his book of yoga aphorisms, the Yoga Sutras. Out of the Sutras, meaning thread in Sanskrit, come the Yamas and Niyamas. These are the first two limbs of Astanga yoga and are the ethical principles, personal and social observances that help create a more open and joyful life. These are not Rules or Commandments, merely guidelines to help the yogi increase her own awareness and fulfilment and are the starting points to moving along to the other limbs. These are asanas, (physical postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (deep meditation) and samadhi (unity or bliss).
Living healthy is more than just the physical, although the physical is vitally important. We must do our best to strengthen and train our physical bodies, through movement, healthy and nourishing food and reducing our toxic load. And we must nourish and strengthen our mind and emotions so that we can move through life with more ease and less conflict, both within ourselves and with others.
Let’s delve into healthy living. We can use yoga as a tool, along with many others.
Be mindful. Listen. Move with alignment. Breathe.