What is Yoga? How does this mind-body art improve my health?
Yoga is the unification of body, mind and spirit through the practice of deep breathing, stretches and meditation. Yoga practitioners perform a sequence of stretching poses, known as asanas, that connect the breath to their body’s movement. During asanas, yogis practice a special deep breathing method, called Pranayama, that sends oxygen and nutrients into the bloodstream of various body areas to improve circulation. Yoga has been scientifically proven to increase flexibility, build strength, reduce stress, calm anxiety, prevent depression, lower blood pressure and relax the body in many other ways.
Typically, a yoga class concludes with meditation, or shavasana, to relieve the body after extensive physical exercise. Meditation is a key element in yoga that unifies the mind, breath and body. Yoga teachers may lead students through various guided meditations to release negative thoughts and welcome positive energy. This spiritual practice clears the mind, quiets the brain’s constant chatter and helps people reach a euphoric state of pure bliss. Once in a meditative state, yogis embrace this serenity and embark on their own mental vacation.