Hatha and Yin yoga classes

A bit about Yoga


Hatha yoga evolved in India thousands of years ago as a spiritual practice. By following a personal code of conduct (yamas and niyamas), through practising postures (asana), regulation of the breath (pranayama), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), focused concentration and meditation (dharana and dhyana) leads us eventually to spiritual enlightenment. Embarking on this journey can help us to withdraw from the things that don’t really matter and find a deep peace within. Asana practice helps to build strength, flexibility, encourages awareness of the breath and deepens our ability to concentrate.  

Many people first come to yoga perhaps due to an injury or because of the physical benefits that a regular practice of the postures brings – increased flexibility and muscle tone, reduced muscle pain and stiffness in the joints. The postures also work on internal organs, glands and nerves and there is evidence to suggest that the deep breathing during practice can improve heart rates and blood pressure. Others come for the mental benefits – a sense of calm and stillness of the mind, reduced stress levels, increased energy levels and better sleep to name but a few.

The ancient yogis, however, believed that yoga was a holistic practice which re-united the Self (jiva) with the Absolute (Brahman). Their aim was to free their spirits from the false sense of separation from God and in doing so discover their own truth and salvation.

Whatever brings you to yoga – be it the lofty ideals of the ancient yogis or rather more modest ambitions – yoga has something to offer. To understand yoga is to try it out. 

Understanding the philosophy behind yoga, including the principles that guide our own behaviour (namas) and how we engage with the world (niyamas) helps us to move towards individual liberation and collective social justice.

Yoga restrains the oscillations of the mind” Pantanjali’s yoga sutra 1.2