Yoga, (meaning 'union') is a psycho-physical discipline developed in India around 5,000 years ago. It aims to 'unite' our mind, body and soul achieving the true happiness and spiritual awareness we each have within us.
Anyone can practice yoga and no specialist equipment is needed.
Yoga gives you: Good health, Stability and Inner Balance, Reduced Stress, Increased Strength and Flexibility, Weight Loss, Increased Fitness Levels, Improved Focus and Concentration.
Classical yoga as defined in the sage Patanjali's 'Yoga Sutras' is an eight-stage path. First, there are ethical disciplines, (yamas and niyamas), then physical postures (asanas) and breath / energy-control (pranayama), and finally four meditative stages; sense-control (pratyhara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and enlightenment (Samadhi). In the West, the emphasis is placed on the third stage, asanas, or hatha yoga.
Asanas (postures) work on every part of the body, stretching and toning muscles, joints, and bones, maintaining flexibility. It also works internally, toning and stimulating organs, glands and nerves. This releases physical and mental tension resulting in increased energy.
Pranayama (breath / energy-control) revitalises the body, and calms and refreshes the mind resulting in increased mental clarity and concentration.
Meditation is the silencing of the body, mind and intellect. This allows us to reach deep within ourselves finding true peace and happiness, away from the distractions of the modern world.