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What is Yoga and why do we do it?
Yoga is around 8000 years old. It is a philosophy that roots itself in the well-being of the physical, mental and emotional body.
“Yoga is the gathering of action and mind1”, it is the capacity to observe self, it is the practice of becoming more conscious of our body, emotions and thoughts.
The foundation of the practice lies in Meditation. Yoga prepares us for Meditation. Meditation is a practice to gain progressive clarity of the mind (by observing it), in order to gain an accurate picture of the world. It can be seen as cleaning the windows of the mind, which often become polluted by an overactive emotional brain and unmanaged egos.
Yoga uses postures to connect ourselves with our body, to become conscious of our physical state, and to connect our physical body back to our breath. Our breath is fundamental in the practice of Yoga. Relaxation and acquiring states of Theta and Delta (brainwaves) are essential for Meditation. For this reason Yoga postures are specifically administrated to open the body, relax the body and bring the respiratory apparatus into full play.
Why breathing calms us down is still unknown, but we know this:
- Breath brings the stress response signal under control
- Increasing the intervals between breaths and increasing the volume of breath contributes to the relaxation state.
- An open chest (good posture) and a relaxed body (good posture) has been proven to reduce stress signals in the body, attributing towards bringing down high blood pressure, decreasing adrenaline in the body, and increasing levels of serotonin.
- When our body is relaxed, our IQ goes up, we are more rational, hence, we make wiser decisions.
Doing postures focuses the mind, builds internal and external strength and massages the organs. While conscious breathing brings attention to the moment, stabilises thoughts, all the while oxygenating the blood, building interior muscular tissue to support organs and detoxes waste.
Today’s society is facing an epidemic of chronic stress and anxiety. Chronic stress reduces empathy. And empathy is a paramount ingredient to a peaceful society.
We practise Yoga to bring our physical, emotional and mental body into a state of wellness. To connect with internal sensory information, disconnect the monkey mind (mindless chatter) and to find a deeper sense of existence.
“The value of existence is a prerequisite to happiness2”
2NLP Practitioner training – Auspicium:David Keys