What does Yoga actually mean?
My 4 year journey with Yoga.
Yoga is the suppression of the activities of the mind.
Yoga is equanimity. Yoga is skill in action. yoga means Moksha (Liberation).
When I first stepped into a yoga studio in Jersey city four years ago, I was in tatters. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. I thought yoga would simply be a form of exercise that could help me lose weight, which I hoped would in turn build my self confidence.
I quickly discovered that yoga was so much more than just an exercise.
The benefits of yoga almost immediately reached beyond the body and the mind to my very spirit.
Yogo is about balance — creating the balance between body + mind + energies. The practice helps maintain a youthful body, but also increases sensory powers and awakens higher states of consciousness and well being.
A lot has changed since the first time I stepped on the mat for 4 years ago.
Yoga has become my lifestyle, my way of being.
Since that fateful day, I’ve grown to be the best version of myself.
Now when I step onto the mat, I deconstruct anything I’m holding onto — perceptions or beliefs that I’ve accumulated throughout the day. I tear them down and start reconstructing myself all over again.
Why? Because each day we are born again. Each day should be treated like it never happened to you before. No one comes to life with an expiration date, so live life the way it was meant to be lived — in the moment!
To experience the fullness that yoga has to offer, you must either develop a strong home-based practice OR find a studio that incorporates all the aspects of yoga. This is known as Hatha Yoga and includes: asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) followed by meditation.
Hatha Yoga aims to purify your physical body first through simple cleansing techniques and asana practice.
Asana in Sanskrit means ‘to be established’.
Poses are performed in a manner that stretches your body in various areas. The goal is to maintain the posture in a relaxed manner. This practice builds necessary strength and stamina (especially to the muscular system which supports all other systems).
Hatha Yoga flow also improves the functioning and efficiency of the internal organs. The goal of Asana practice in Hatha Yoga is to connect the mind to the body. You know you’ve had an effective practice when you’re able to bring all your awareness to the breath and make conscious efforts to relax all the stressed anatomical body parts, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Pranayama means “control of Prana” (which is the life-giving, vital force). All actions are the result of movement of Prana. If one can control it, all the functions of the body and mind can be controlled. The purpose of pranayama is to control this energy, mind, body and chakras which will help you awaken your Nadis and energy centers.
To experience the full benefits of Hatha yoga, a combination of movement (asana), breathwork (pranayama) and meditation/ deep relaxation must be practiced at least once or twice a day.