Updated: Dec 4, 2019
In today’s modern society, Yoga is a form of practice you can squeeze into a busy schedule. A practice to (hopefully) bring you some sort of peace of mind, at least while you are on the mat. Unfortunately, the portrayal of yoga on social media has bastardised the true essence of this ancient way of life. You need not be 20-something, size zero and über flexible to walk the true yogic path. Promise.
To understand the essence of Yoga, we must look to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Patangali was a sage (mid 2nd century BCE) who went about compiling all the various teachings of Yoga that were present at that time. Within this text, Patanjali describes the eight limbs of Yoga. These eight teachings act as guidelines on how to live a life of meaning and purpose. You can think of the eight limbs as a system, that if followed, will direct one towards greater health and wellbeing through the uncovering of our spiritual nature. *
Here’s a brief description of the eight limbs:
Yama - the practice of restraint as it relates to ethical standards in society. For example, non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, etc.
Niyama - the practice of observation, particularly of our attitudes toward ourselves. For example, cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, etc.
Asana - the comfort in being through the movements of postures. Aiming at the dual qualities of alertness and relaxation.
Pranayama - the conscious, deliberate regulation of the exhalation, inhalation, and the suspension of the breath, replacing unconscious patterns of breathing.
Pratyahara - withdrawing our senses from the external world and focusing the mind inward.
Dharana - concentrating the mind on one place, object or idea. The gathering and focusing of consciousness inward, leading to meditation.
Dhyana - continuous inward flow of consciousness on one point. Meditative absorption leading to complete stillness of the mind.
Samadhi - connection to the Divine; pure consciousness. When reached, it is a state of ecstasy and Absolute Peace. *
In the Western world, our Yoga practice tends to focus on Asana, Pranayama and Dharana. However, you may notice that Yama and Niyama are aspects that you naturally integrate as well.
Whether your path involves a full yogic lifestyle or the desire to just drop inward for an hour at a time on your mat, the most important component is that you find yourself on a path that brings you joy. Be the creator of a practice that is empowering to you. Move your body, connect with your breath, turn inward and shine outward.
At The Body Garage we offer different types of Yoga so that you can find an approach that suits you:
Hatha Yoga - Wednesdays at 9.15am, Saturdays at 7.30am. These classes offer an invigorating practice giving your body all it needs to feel energised. Exploring balance within each sequence to strengthen and activate through the mind and body. Winding down to finish with meditation and rest.
Vinyasa Flow + Restore - Tuesdays at 6.45am. Vinyasa is a style of Yoga in which each posture is connected through the breath, bringing consciousness into every transition. Even in stillness attention on the breath and the beating of your heart is still counted as your flow. These classes are created to build body awareness, strength, stability, flexibility - mind and body - and become effortless effort.
Yin Yang Fusion - Tuesdays at 6.45pm. Blending two approaches of yoga into one practice. The slow paced, long holds, deep fascia releasing postures with the free flowing body warming stronger postures. Creating peace and harmony within. Balancing the energies of the feminine and masculine.
Yin Yoga Restore - Sundays 6.30pm (as of Sunday 27th October). Holding postures in a mindful way allows the body to completely surrender to the present moment. Connect with the flow of breath, observe the body, become aware of sensations, emotions or feelings that may arise during the practice to gain a deeper understanding of the subtle energies and tensions we hold physically, mentally and emotionally in our everyday life.
Head to www.thebodygarage.co.nz to book a mat.
All we ask is that you are open to letting go and turning inward.
Namaste - I bow to the divine in you.