Yoga is a practical science developed in India over thousands of years. It is a means by which we can live life with increasing mindfulness. Facilitating access to our inner calm, yoga allows us to recognize patterns in the waves of consciousness, eventually resulting in inner peace and a more direct perception of reality.

It is impossible to fully appreciate the aims of yoga, without personal experience. A teacher can direct and guide you (as a map can guide you through a new city), but your experience needs to come from you. You must tread the path for yourself.

The aim of yoga is not really to unite you with anything, for you already are united with the Divine Energy within You.

Yoga is defined as union because it is seen and defined in terms of everyday normal life, where each person may feel separation from, or may lack the comprehension of the possibility of a heightened state of being.

Yoga can be regarded as union from the personal identity point of view, but from a higher level of awareness there is no separation. It is our fluctuating, low levels of awareness that cloud our judgement and prevent us from seeing and experiencing this already present union. When we Rest on Yoga….we are there.

The Benefits of Yoga
While the physical aspect of yoga inevitably leads to an increase in flexibility, it is essential to keep in mind that the world is in need of more compassionate people, not just bendy people. All body types are suitable to some form of a physical yoga practice. In order to gain the greatest benefit from your yoga practice, find length in the spine in every posture, and do not concern yourself with how you compare to others. The spine is the storehouse of our nervous system. In movement and stillness, instill and encourage peace of mind. Practice the ability of finding inner balance to be at ease in each moment, on and off your yoga mat.

For those students who are new to yoga, or who have limited experience, I would like to emphasize the potential of yoga. Rapid changes in the body and mind are often soon experienced when all the yoga techniques of the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga are harmoniously combined.

Even when you are accustomed to practicing other physical exercises, you may find the power of yoga initially more than you expected. If your muscles ache, the fastest way to relieve this is by practicing the postures from the previous day. Try to practice at least three times a week.

Expect to gain the following physical and psychological benefits: improved respiration, concentration, better digestion, flexibility, strength, stamina, tranquility, vitality, alertness, self-confidence and self-esteem.

A regular practice of yoga creates room for an open heart and happiness.

In short, greater fitness, better health and an increased capacity for happiness will lead you to a richer life. When you open space in your Body, You open  space in your Mind.