Benefits of Yoga

Endless variety of traditional and contemporary yoga classes in Harrogate.

Modern Yoga
Yoga is not simply a form of physical exercise although it does provide a wonderful balancing workout for the whole body and its functions, we should consider it in its wider context in order to appreciate its tremendous potential. The asana poses (such as in Hatha Yoga) provide an effective, physiological workout that provides our system with wonderful sensations and numerous benefits. If carried out in an informed and balanced fashion, vigorous asana practice can be wonderful… even addictive!

yoga in harrogate
Yoga poses can help de-stress and bring calm

The Eight Limbs of Yoga*
The path to living a meaningful and purposeful life, bringing about a true and liberating understanding of yourself:

1. Yama (restraints)
Your ethical standards, sense of integrity, and how you conduct yourself in life.

  • Ahimsa: non-harming
  • Satya: truth, absence of falsehood
  • Asteya: non-stealing
  • Brahmacharya: energy conservation
  • Aparigraha: non-hording

2. Niyama (observances)
Your capacity for self-regulation, discipline and spiritual observances.

  • Shaucha: cleanliness
  • Santosha: contentment
  • Tapas: austerity
  • Svādhyāya: study of the Self
  • Ishvarapranidhana: surrender to Source

3. Asana (poses)
Poses held in order to optimise the function of the body by promoting circulation, strength, flexibility, endurance, balance and integration.

4. Pranayama (breathing)
Yoga breathing techniques bring awareness to our respiration and thereby regulate and liberate the breath. They cultivate awareness of the subtle body and have tremendous therapeutic benefits. Yoga breathing acts as a gateway to meditative states.

5. Pratyahara (sense-withdrawal)
Taking an internal view, away from outside stimuli, sensory transcendence. It provides you with an opportunity to step back and take a look at yourself.

6. Dharana (concentration)
Concentration is guided single focus, slowing down your thinking process by concentrating on a single source.

7. Dhyana (contemplation/meditation)
This is a relaxed state of mind that is keenly aware without any specific focus.

8. Samadhi (absorption)
The final stage is a state of being without conscious thought,  and the experience of ease, peace and bliss.

*courtesy of the Shantaya School

Author: Francesca Hepton

Author and wellness mentor Francesca Hepton is a champion for children's health, well-being and a catalyst for personal growth. Her services include books, kits, and courses predominantly in the field of health, well-being, stress reduction, and life-style choices, as well as workshops with associated course material in the form of manuals, storybooks, training manuals, videos, audios, and mentoring services.

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