The word yoga means “union” – to unify or harmonize the mind, body and spirit. It is an ancient practice that originated in India over 6,000 years ago. Yoga offers tools (asanas, pranayama, chanting, meditation) for understanding your body and mind, as well as learning to deeply relax.
Practicing asanas (physical postures) tones your muscles, increases flexibility and strength, and builds self-esteem with consistent practice. Pranayama (breathing exercises) helps to clear the mind, increases relaxation, and improves the flow of energy in the body. Chanting opens the heart and focuses the mind. Meditation teaches us to look inside ourselves for peace and well being in spite of living in an over-stimulating, constantly changing world.
Practicing yoga with others offers a chance to have fun and support one another. Yoga is not competitive, although it is often challenging. There are different types of yoga but they all have the same goals. Yoga and Talk programs offer Hatha and Kundalini styles of yoga.
“Yoga-based approaches use a series of postures and breathing techniques to build a sense of connection to the self. Yoga practitioners are able to cultivate the ability to remain present, to notice and tolerate inner experience, and to develop a new relationship with their body. This body-based practice then has a ripple effect on emotional and mental health, on relationships, and on one’s experience of living in the world.”
– Overcoming Trauma through Yoga, Emerson and Hopper