Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning union : of body and mind, of the internal and external worlds, of the individual and the whole… The interpretations can vary according to the different schools and philosophical traditions, yet they all agree on a basic definition :
« Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. »
Classes are a healthy mix of :
– poses (known as asanas), for which the rythm varies according to the students’ needs and physical condition. Each sequence or pose is very precisely synchronized with the breath
– specific breathing exercises, called pranayama, which are traditionnaly practiced to develop and refine the awareness and the quality of the breath.
Each class ends with seating poses, relaxation poses, and sometimes a short meditation.
The pratice of the poses, along with the specific work on the breath, naturally becomes a moving meditation : the body stretches, the physical tensions disappear, and focusing the attention on the body effortlessly keeps the mind from wandering.
The goal of each class is to work with the body to quiet the mind and soften the heart, reduce stress and anxiety, and refine our focus and the quality of our presence.
Photo: Céline Bansart