What is Yoga?
Yoga is meditation in motion. It is an ancient practice that connects the mind and the body in a way that frees the spirit. Although most people think of yoga as a series of poses to move the body through, the true basis of yoga is the breath. As you practice yoga – breath and poses, you exercise your ability to focus. You become more aware of how your body moves – and how it doesn’t. You become more aware of your habits of thought and emotions.In the past couple of decades, yoga has become the subject of myriad clinical research studies. These studies have confirmed what the ancients knew intuitively: yoga is good for you. Yoga enhances flexibility and strengthens muscles and bones. It improves circulation, respiration, digestion, immune function, and concentration. Yoga decreases stress, depression, and insomnia. People will notice the difference in you.
The earliest writings about yoga are five thousand years old, which means the actual practice is even more ancient. Yoga is older than Moses. By the time Jesus visited the big city of Jerusalem as a child, it is likely that he would have seen someone practicing yoga. This is no passing fad. Yoga is here to stay.
Although yoga developed out of Hindu teachings, it is not of itself a religion. Because yoga increases your connection to your inner self, it can enhance any spiritual practice. Many yogis treat their practice with the same reverence as a religion. As a free-thinking individual, you can decide yoga’s place in your own spiritual practices.