Yoga is a powerful ancient system using physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditative practices to optimise and nourish the function of every system in the body providing overall health and well being. When practicing yoga you are strengthening and calming the nervous system, increasing blood flow to the internal organs, bringing more oxygen to your cells, clearing mental clutter from your mind, cultivating a happier less anxious outlook on life in addition to building a strong and flexible body. Through regular practice you steadily gain discipline and self control whilst cultivating relaxation, awareness and equanimity.
"Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gate of the soul opens." BKS Iyengar
Asana literally means 'to sit' in Sanskrit and originally meant a sitting position, however over the years it's meaning is now applied to any yoga posture. Each yoga posture has many anatomical, physiological and psychological benefits to the body.
Meditation refers to a broad variety of practices designed to develop awareness and single pointed concentration. We must develop physical strength in our body, but also attention and awareness in a steady mind in order to become less reactive to life and more compassionate.
Pranayama is composed of two Sanskrit words 'prank' and 'agama', together they translate to 'extension of life force' and refer to breathing techniques to make the respiratory muscles stronger and improve lung capacity, ultimately energising and nursing our whole body.