By definition, yoga has existed for more than 5,000 years and originated in India. There is a rich history surrounding yoga, which stems from philosophies in Buddhism, including rituals and mantras.
It originally was in text form called Vedas in an ancient Hinduism language. And then later on “masters created a system of practices designed to rejuvenate the body and prolong life…and…They rejected the teachings of the ancient Vedas and embraced the physical body”.
And became a physical and spiritual connection. Yoga as we know it today trickled into North America sometime in the late 19th century, and while the practice began to spread and was embraced by some, it really seemed to take off in the 20th century. Today it is very popular for people to practice yoga for their well-being, as well as physical strength and flexibility.
In Vancouver, yoga is a powerful practice of physical poses, meditation, and mantras which is a westernized – Canada, USA, European – version of yoga.
There are several different types of yoga: restorative, power, hot, Ananda, and Hatha. Hatha Yoga is a foundation of all styles of yoga, Hatha yoga is the basic form. It is a practice of alignment with your body and soul.
From taking a yoga teacher training, yoga to me is more than just an exercise, it has become a healing experience spiritually. When we practice yoga, we are giving space for our bodies to connect physically and mentally.
We live in a society where we are always on the go, seeming to value above all efficiency, being busy and perceived material success. In stark contrast to our often hectic modern lives, yoga practice is about creating a quiet space for our bodies and minds to release tight muscles and inflamed joints, as well as a release of stress and anxiety.
Yoga can be a healing tool for anxiety and depression, diseases and injuries as it forces the individual to connect internally to how the body is, and what is happening for it. When we become in tune with our bodies processes and experiences, we are often able to self diagnose. And figure out what is working and what is not, what is helpful to us.
The reason I started yoga was because of a chronic back injury and practicing yoga regularly has significantly helped my back, and continues to aid in pain management to such an extent that now I cannot imagine my life without yoga.
After a while I also noticed my yoga practice was helping my anxiety. Because I was able to consistently relax my mind. I felt lighter after I practiced yoga, physically and mentally.
Very little else in my life is able to offer those results, amidst the somewhat chaotic nature of working. Not to mention trying my best to enjoy life and connect meaningfully with others.
The part of yoga which this benefit is a direct result of is meditation. I learned in yoga teacher training, while meditation is part of yoga, and can occur throughout, meditation tends to happen in the beginning and end of class.
Meditating while practicing yoga has given me the time and space to relax my mind, which helps relax my body, and has a positive effect both ways.