|Health & Fitness
by Pati Kearns
Yoga is a wonderful, joyful practice that can greatly enhance your life. It acts on the physical body to create alignment and energy. When the body is well aligned, energy can flow! Yoga postures, or asanas, act directly on the endocrine system as well as on internal organs to massage, detoxify, and revitalize the body. Yoga creates strength, flexibility, and vitality. Yoga breathing, or pranayama, helps us to expand our breath, to oxygenate the body and set the stage for optimal health.
You don’t have to be bendy or have gymnastic tendencies to practice yoga! In yoga we start where we are. Classes are geared to individual needs. We progress at our own pace with no judgment. In yoga we cultivate maitri - deep and unwavering self acceptance in this moment. This type of practice is so freeing. If another practitioner is more advanced, rather than feeling that we are inadequate, we can cultivate mudita, the ability to rejoice in someone else’s success. Through the steady yoga practice of deepening our awareness of body, breath, and mind, we start to feel a sense of harmony and inner joy.
Yoga is commonly translated as union, or more elaborately, uniting the strands of the mind. According to the second century Indian sage Patanjali, author of the the Yoga Sutra, yoga is the ability to focus the mind on a single point without distraction. It is a practice of awareness to both increase mental focus and calm the mind.
It is for all of these reasons and more that people from all walks of life come to yoga. Students in a typical yoga class are busy moms, overloaded students (middle school through college), athletes who want to avoid injury and increase performance, stressed- out business people, and people with a wide range of health problems such as back pain, heart disease and diabetes. The benefits are tremendous. Yoga really is for every body.
Pati Kearns teaches Yoga at Dance Etc. Call Pati at 293-2358 for class information.