Introduction to Yoga
This video is from the Yoga Day Summit, produced by The Shift Network at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, India during the International Yoga Festival 2016. Go here to watch the fill video.
Introduction to the Yoga Foundational Course
In this Yoga Foundation Course we cover some of the questions that are often asked about yoga, a little of the background of yoga and the basis of the Ananda Sanga way of teaching and learning yoga. It is set out so that each lesson is practiced over one week, before moving onto the next lesson.
These days, on the subject of yoga, there is a lot of information available in the form of books, videos/DVDs, and on the Internet. However, not all of this information is completely accurate and/or necessarily the way we at Ananda Sanga perceive and share the original teachings of yoga.
Starting to Do Yoga
Generally, if you are a beginner at yoga it is usually advised that you not do it at home by yourself. By joining up with a good certified Yoga Teacher in a group class, you will pick up some of the basic techniques and postures and then be able to implement that knowledge into a home practice. However, if it is difficult to go to a yoga class, this Foundation in Yoga is the next best. Again, please be aware and cautious with information in yoga books, videos/DVDs, and the Internet, as not all of that information is necessarily correct. The same may also apply to Yoga Instructors these days and therefore it is advisable that you attend one or two classes and if you don’t resonate with the style of yoga or the teacher perhaps you may want to move on.
It is well-known nowadays that yoga can be a rigorous physical workout, which may help you lose weight and increase fitness levels. However, the aim of yoga is to also conclude the class with a clear mind, improved concentration and a relaxed, alert feeling –calm and energised. The asana (physical postures) and breathing practices in yoga also regulate and balance prana (the life-force) and this is why you will feel more vitalised.
Yoga is a great therapy for those who are not well or able, and a qualified Yoga Therapy Teacher would work with a person on a one-to-one basis to correct those difficulties. Yoga is also very beneficial for pregnancy, and helps the mom-to-be to become more in-tune with her body and baby. Furthermore, it’ll keep her healthy and limber, and the various breathing exercises will not only help during labour, but will most definitely come in handy when she needs to stay calm and relaxed during the beginning stages of the new baby’s life.
What is Yoga?
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means to yoke or join and is often interpreted as “union”. The practice of Yoga then, is a joining or uniting of the body, mind and spirit using various practices. These practices result in the person (practitioner) feeling in balance and in harmony with themselves, others around them and the environment – Nature: animals, plants and Earth.
Yoga is not a religion, even though it had its roots in India, where the religion of Hinduism is a life-style for the majority of people. (Very simply put – just as the scientific “Theory of Relativity” is universal, not Jewish, although it was put forth by Albert Einstein who was of Jewish religion!)
Yoga is an aid to your own spirituality, within whatever religion or belief system you have!