1- Yoga or yuj means union of the physical body, mind and spirit. It is not merely about performing some exercises, but it is understanding what it takes to quieten the furtive mind. Yoga provides tools to control the perturbations of our mind. Our daily routine results in tremendous fluctuations of the mind with increasing levels of stress and strain that lead to an anxious state. Anxiety and stress are the basis of several maladies such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc.. Yoga provides mechanisms and pathways to control the mind. This takes a lot of hard work and consistent practice to start making a dent.
2- Yoga is a good workout: Yoga asanas and the suryanamaskara sequence are powerful ways to get an excellent and complete workout. In fact, just doing the suryanamaskara sequence several times is by itself sufficient. We shall teach this sequence in our yoga class.
3-Yoga is strength training, flexibility and stretching all at the same time. The poses use your own body weight to improve strength, flexibility and balance. The slower you move and the longer you hold the pose, the more will be the benefits. In my class, we shall teach you poses in the standing, sitting, kneeling, prone, supine and in inversion positions.
4-Yoga improves proprioception and balance. A very simple pose such as Vrikshasana (tree pose) has so many variations that it can challenge even a ballet dancer! Ultimately, consistent practice of the balance poses and holding them in the different degrees of difficulty as recommended in the class will allow you to face the challenges that we shall encounter as we age. Also, improving balance and co-ordination helps with several motor dysfunctions such as Parkinson’s disease.
5-Certain yoga techniques called kriyas activate thekundalini energy and improve focus, attention and concentration. Kapalbhati kriya is one such powerful kriya that we follow in our class.
6-Pranayama or breathing techniques are most important part of a yoga class as it helps us regulate our homeostasis and stabilize our autonomic nervous system. Different pranayama methods are vital tools for controlling the extrinsic and intrinsic stresses that we face in daily life. This helps us overcome agitation, listlessness by activating specific energy channels called nadis.
7-Yoga helps with spine alignment and along with improved flexibility, it helps ameliorate several aches and pains of daily life that are induced by poor posture and poor sitting habits.
8-Yogic Chants that are recited in our class such as the bija mantras, chanting A-U-M, humming sound
(Bhramari pranayama), help with calming the mind and produce deep relaxation and improved sleep patterns.
9-Yoga therapy: Yoga poses, and pranayama techniques have been used therapeutically for several maladies and there are several papers published on this. In our class we shall go over the health benefits of the different poses.
10-Yoga Nidra is a relaxed state that we practice at the end of the class. This is a verbally guided relaxation that brings tranquility to our physical and mental state.