Yoga is an ancient practice that encompasses spiritual, mental, as well as physical disciplines. The term yoga comes from the ancient Sanskrit word for yoke, which is interpreted as a joining together or union. The practice of the different forms of yoga over many years unites the mind, body, and spirit in order to achieve permanent peace.
There are many different forms of yoga and all of them are of great benefit. At RASA we focus on some of the more easily practiced forms of yoga, mainly the physical practice of yoga poses, or asanas, in what is often called Hatha yoga. We also spend some time with pranayama, or working on the extension of our life force through specific breath work. The practice of physical yoga is said to prepare the body for meditation, which RASA also integrates.
Hatha yoga is not just about stretching, though it is certainly involved. The practice of different asanas in a vinyasa, or wise progression of postures creates balance in the body by increasing both flexibility as well as strength so the body performs as it was designed. A few of the other benefits of a regular practice of yoga are improved mental health, stress reduction, increased bone density, improved spinal health, improved overall muskulo-skeletal health, and alleviation of certain symptoms of stress disorders such as PTSD. Yoga has been used as an intervention for cancer, asthma, heart disease, schizophrenia, and more. It can be used as a form of physical therapy and some use yoga as a complete exercise program.