is a combination of breathing (pranayama), exercise (asana) and relaxation (savasana) with full awareness; to harmonize body, mind and spirit for health and inner peace.
Asanas or yoga postures focus on increasing and maintaining flexibility of the spine, toning and rejuvenating the nervous system. The gentle stretching, twisting and bending movements bring flexibility to the joints and muscles of the body, as well as massaging the glands and organs. Circulation is also improved, ensuring oxygen to all the cells of the body. The different poses put pressure on various points, which help to relax the nervous system and therefore also helps to release stress.
The name Hatha Yoga goes back to the truth on which this system is founded. Our body is enlivened by positive and negative currents, and when these currents are in complete equilibrium, we enjoy perfect health. The positive current is designated by the letter “HA” which is equivalent in meaning to “SUN”. The negative current is called “THA” meaning “MOON”. The word YOGA has a double meaning. On the one hand is it equivalent to “joining” while the second meaning is “yoke”. Thus “HATHA YOGA” signifies the perfect knowledge of the two energies, the positive sun and negative moon energies, their joining in perfect harmony and complete equilibrium, and the ability to control their energies absolutely, that is, to bend them under the yoke of our “SELF”.
The yoga classes I offer are suitable for all ages and level of fitness. Postures and exercises will be adjusted according to your own flexibility. Gentle, easy variations for beginners, more challenging for advanced students. We practice exercises for strength, flexibility and balance, as well as yogic breathing exercises.
The basis of Yoga can be condensed in a practical system and applied into the daily routine. ‘Five Pillars of Yoga’:
1. Exercise (Asanas)
Our physical body is meant to move and exercise. If our lifestyle does not provide natural motion of muscles and joints, then disease and great discomfort will ensue with time. Proper exercise should be pleasant to the practitioner while beneficial to the body, mind and spiritual life.
2. Breathing (Pranayama)
Yoga teaches us how to use the lungs to their maximum capacity and how to control the breath. Proper breathing should be deep, slow and rhythmical. This increases vitality and mental clarity.
3. Relaxation (Savasana)
Long before the invention of cars, planes, telephones, computers, freeways and other modern triggers of stress, the Rishis (sages or seers) and Yogis of yore devised very powerful techniques of deep relaxation. As a matter of fact, many modern stress-management and relaxation methods borrow heavily from this tradition. By relaxing deeply all the muscles the Yogi can thoroughly rejuvenate his nervous system and attain a deep sense of inner peace.
4. Diet (Vegetarian)
Besides being responsible for building our physical body, the foods we eat profoundly affect our mind. For maximum body-mind efficiency and complete spiritual awareness, Yoga advocates a lacto-vegetarian diet. This is an integral part of the Yogic lifestyle.
5. Meditation (Dhyana)
Here is the most important point of all, we become what we think. Thus we should exert to entertain positive and creative thoughts as these will contribute to vibrant health and a peaceful, joyful mind. A positive outlook on life can be developed by learning and practicing the teachings of the philosophy of Vedanta. The mind will be brought under perfect control by regular practice of meditation.