What is the true meaning of Yoga?
Did you know? Physical postures are not Yoga. They are called ‘asana’. In fact, when you go to what is commonly called ‘yoga class’, you are likely attending an asana class. You are learning how to do postures with your body. These postures are a tool of Yoga.
So then you might ask, what IS Yoga?
Classical Yoga is a system of self-realization that was codified by Patanjali sometime around 200 – 500 AD in a text called The Yoga Sutras.
The Yoga Sutras lay out eight limbs, or aspects, of practice which lead one to realize a state of Yoga. Asanas are just 1 of the 8 limbs that include:
- yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others
- niyama (observances) – how we relate to ourselves
- āsana (posture) – how we relate to our body
- prāṇāyāma (breath extension) – how we relate to our breath or spirit
- pratyāhāra (sensory withdrawal) – how we relate to our sense organs
- dhāraṇā (concentration) – how we relate to our mind
- dhyāna (meditation) – moving beyond the mind
- samādhi (meditative absorption) – deep realization and inner union
Refer here for more:
In this context, Yoga becomes a final state which one experiences as a result of practice.
Then the Seer abides in Itself, resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-Realization. Yoga Sutras 1.3
You can translate this Sutra as Yoga is the Mastery of the Mind
What is Self-Realization? It is also known as enlightenment. This is a place where the fluctuations of the mind have mostly stilled, and you no longer identify with any remaining fluctuations or thoughts.
However, Yoga is also the practice required to experience Yoga. That is, it is the things that one does to shift from identifying with our thoughts to witnessing our thoughts. This includes but is not limited to asana.
So where does this leave us then? What is Yoga?
It is both an end-point on the journey – Self-Realization – and the practices one uses to travel that path. It includes asana, but is not limited to asana.
In fact, it is entirely possible to practice asana without practicing Yoga at all.
One can be focused on doing the physical postures without using them as a tool to observe the fluctuations of the mind.
This is the entire point of Yoga – to work with the mind, recognizing that it is the greatest obstacle preventing us from knowing our true nature.
This is where the role of the teacher becomes vital in the practice of Yoga. Students are usually not able to see the fluctuations of their mind when they begin practicing.
when you choose to witness your mind while doing asana, over time you will spontaneously drop into a stable and tranquil state.
If you are a student who has been practicing asana and you would like to practice Yoga, seek out teachers who teach Yoga. Start to witness your mind the moment you step onto your yoga mat. Imagine that you are dropping down, or stepping back. Imagine that your thoughts are up on big movie screen fifty feet in front of you. Then stop giving those thoughts any more energy.
Balance Your Mind, Body and Beauty and Achieve Happiness
At Hylunia Wellness MD Spa, yoga focuses on merging all your personal energies to one positive energy. We believe in happiness, so we make yoga fun for you regardless of your age, gender, state of mind, flexibility level and intention. Yoga is for everyone. Rather than abide by strict yoga discipline, we work with you individually to reach your ability level for maximum benefit. All yoga classes will start with a discussion of your intentions and purpose and a session of laughter yoga. Space is limited! Please reserve your class online or call 949-313-7760.
Yoga Schedule Details
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10 class package: $120 (to be used in 2 months)
20 class package: $200 (to be used in 3 months)
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Monthly membership: $99
2 sessions of complimentary Ayurvedic wellness coaching
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1 Complimentary guided meditation per month
Complimentary events and workshops
Commitment – 6 months
Intermediate Yoga Flow
This Yoga class is ideal for students who have experience with yoga and would like to increase their energy levels, range of motion and muscle strength. You will encounter intermediate sequences and poses; and more challenging breathwork will be introduced to help you bring greater balance to your mind and body. Beginners who attend this class will be given modified poses.
Yoga for Beginners/Intermediate
If you are new to Yoga, this class is for you! Your instructor will guide and teach you the fundamentals of yoga and gently lead you in poses (asanas) using props, straps, and blankets. Experienced (intermediate) yoga students who attend this class will be given modified poses.
Yoga for Pain
Yoga postures that incorporate the release of muscle and joint tensions especially focusing on the neck, shoulders and upper back to relieve “tech neck” from computers and cell phone usage. This practice will strengthen the connective tissue around the joints in the body to increase the range of motion and mobility.
Yoga for Stress Release
This class focusses on yoga asana and breath to calm and relax the nervous system. The practice will help release stress hormones or cortisol.
Yoga for your Body Type
Learn about your Ayurvedic body type from our wellness coaches and what kind of yoga practice is suitable for you. Our skillful yoga Instructors will teach you how yoga postures can be modified and practiced to benefit your specific body type, based on your Ayurvedic Constitution of Vata, Pitta or Kapha.
Breathe Yoga for Better Health
This class is appropriate for older students seeking the benefits of a relaxing, gentle, slow, and nourishing practice. The combination of deep breath and restorative postures improves range of motion and joint mobility while reducing pain and the effects of stress.
Yoga for Focus and Balance
With today’s modern lifestyle, we often feel pulled in a lot of directions. This class is designed to re-center, re-focus and re-balance both body and mind so that we can navigate the daily juggle with clarity and ease. All levels welcome.