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YOGA What is Yoga? Yoga is an ancient form of physical exercise that stretches the mind and body. The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to yoke, join or unite. This implies integrating all aspects of an individual; body with mind and mind with soul – to achieve a happy, balanced and spiritual life. In the West we generally practice Hatha Yoga, meaning ‘determined effort’. Practice of yoga enables the body to be healthy and free from stress and illness. It stands in contrast to the acquisitiveness and high pace of modern life and can provide the student with a framework for making sense of their life.

There are several different forms of yoga, all based on the same basic principles dating back over 5000 years. However, they differ slightly in their focus and technique. Iyengar Yoga The Iyengar method of Yoga is learnt through the in-depth study of asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breath control). Mr. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga asanas and 14 different types of Pranayama from the simple to the incredibly difficult. These have been structured and categorised so as to allow a beginner to progress safely from basic postures to the more advanced as they gain flexibility, strength and sensitivity. Iyengar Yoga focuses on correct body alignment, so that the student suffers no injury or pain when practising the poses.

As all bodies are different and people have varying weaknesses and strengths, Mr. Iyengar has also developed the use of props to help the body into the right position. Props are objects such as foam blocks, chairs, blankets and belts that help adjust or support the postures so that they are safe and effective. This emphasis on correct anatomical alignment means that the practice of Iyengar Yoga will often result in eliminating aches and pains as well as improving posture and increasing flexibility and stamina.

What can Yoga do for me? Yoga will give you more energy day to day, plus the best night’s sleep you have had for ages! Yoga stretches your muscles, mobilises joints, cures aches and pains and generally makes you feel more comfortable in your body. The Yoga poses remove tensions in the body through sustained stretches. Practising the postures reduces tiredness and soothes the nerves. It also trains and disciplines the mind. After working in the postures, the body is able to relax more easily and the mind will be quieter. Pupils report improved concentration and a feeling of calmness. Yoga is therefore a great help if you suffer from stress.


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