Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a Hindu originating discipline that includes breath control, meditation, and the adoption of specific body positions that is practiced mainly for health, relaxation, and strength. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’ referring to the unification of the mind with the body, and the self with the world.  There are six main branches of traditional yoga, with Hatha yoga, Raja yoga, and Tantra yoga having seen the most expression in modern Western practices.

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The physical practice of yoga varies, but generally includes the use of intentional breathing and learning to tie breath to movement, meditation, and the ‘asanas,’ or postures that have become cultural touchstones. You may be familiar with yoga poses such as ‘downward facing dog’ or ‘lotus.’ These and other movements taught in Yoga are meant to enable energy in the body to move through chakras and encourage well-being. With different postures evoking different states of mind and spiritual stimulations, asanas are adopted with a variety of enlightenment goals in traditional yoga.

What Does Yoga Do For You?

The modern practice of yoga is closer to an exercise discipline with the addition of spiritual adjuncts and corollaries. In many ways this is enticing for busy modern Americans who want to benefit from these practices but may not have the time and energy to encompass the full lifestyle and spiritual focus. The benefits of yoga include improved flexibility, heart health, and sleep. It can also increase muscle strength, allow optimal breathing, and convey a sense of well-being by not only allowing its participants to feel grounded, but also assists in reducing anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and overall stress. 

Although the long-term benefits take time, the integration of yoga can reap immediate rewards when practiced regularly. Many people notice slight changes in flexibility, strength and overall health when participating in only a few classes a month. Yoga offers unique benefits with minimal risks when compared to other exercise practices such as running, competitive sports, and weightlifting. Yoga uses the body’s natural weight and slow, intentional movements and poses that attract minimal risk of injury or muscle fatigue. The slow, meaningful tempo of most yoga practice makes it accessible to all individuals with all levels of athletic abilities. All bodies are welcome in Yoga and there are always modified poses for beginners or people with limited range of motion. Luckily, there is an almost unlimited path for progression in skill and ability through practice and repetition.

What to Expect

Your experience is going to depend a great deal on what kind of yoga you choose to practice. Starting with gentle yoga or a foundations class is strongly recommended, as these slower paced, beginner-oriented options will help you to develop the core strength, general flexibility, and knowledge of asanas that later classes will build upon. Although all classes have modified movements for beginners, a slow, yin class may work to build confidence in those who feel intimidated by starting.

In any class setting you can expect to be greeted warmly by like-minded individuals who are excited to share space with you. At our studio, mats and other tools are provided for you, or you may bring what is familiar to you. Our studio is large, bright and open, a perfect place to find your inner peace.

Virtual classes in the privacy and comfort of your home are a great way to incorporate yoga into a busy schedule, or for those who work from home, or are uncomfortable being in a large class setting.

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Start Your Wellness Journey

We look forward to meeting you and supporting you on your journey towards better health and wellness at Oasis Wellness Partners in Scarborough, Maine.  Call 207-833-5549 today to make an appointment.