Yoga has changed my life. Yoga brings the body, breath and consciousness into harmony. By cultivating awareness of the body and breath in various postures we simultaneously develop steadiness of mind. This connection of mind-body-breath-spirit can elicit deep healing. Though each posture, or asana, has tremendous physical benefits, a deeper layer of healing can be found through integrating the other limbs of yoga which focus on introspection and cultivating peace of mind.
Elements of Yoga
Preparing the Body for Meditation
Asana is a means to gain control over the mind. In conscious alignment with breath, we can move our bodies into postures to allow prana, our vital life force energy, to flow freely. As we remove blockages and impurities in the body through asana, we also train the mind to be firm and undisturbed. Asana was traditionally meant to prepare the body to be relaxed in meditation.
“The effect of asana is to put an end to the dualities or differentiation between the body and mind, the mind and soul…When the body, mind and souls unite in a perfect posture, the sadhaka is in a state of beatitude…”
-BKS Iyengar “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patajali”
Pranayama & Meditation
Calming the Mind
Pranayama means “life force expansion” and we do this by manipulating the breath. Pranayama controls and re-directs the flow of prana, our vital life force energy. We need an abundant supply of prana for optimal functioning of the nervous system, which supports our mental and physical health. Through the practice of pranayama, we also discover the close relationship between the breath and the mind. As we control and direct the flow of prana, we bring the mind under control. Pranayama is like wiping the dust off a mirror, allowing us to find clarity and rest in our true nature (Y.S.1:3). It is beneficial for relaxing the nervous system and preparing space for meditation, where we practice self-reflection and one-pointed concentration. Practice of meditation can bring stillness of mind and dissolve barriers that veil the Self, revealing the true nature of yoga; union of individual and universal consciousness.
Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga. Ayurveda translates as “life science” as it shows us how to live harmoniously with nature. Ayurveda teaches us how to align with nature to bring balance and treat illness and dis-ease holistically, examining the symptoms and the root causes. It is a system of health that takes all aspects of human beings into account: mental, physical, spiritual, and environmental effects.
It’s important to take into account our unique individual nature or prakriti, to choose yoga practices that are harmonious with our being. Ayurveda reveals that asana postures, pranayama, foods and environments can be tailored for each individual to establish balance. Ayurveda also places emphasis on adjusting our practice with the seasons, as we know each season brings its own wisdom.
Private Yoga Sessions
A private yoga session allows for an individualized class, where the practice is designed to cater to your particular needs or interests. One-on-one yoga sessions offer a safe space for students to build a deeper connection with their body, breath and mind.
I have worked one-on-one with clients in a private physical therapy clinic with low-back and neck pain. Yoga has been proven to be an effective treatment in pain-management and mental health. Working one-on-one is extremely beneficial to develop your practice and with over 300 hours of experience teaching private yoga, I have witnessed many individuals grow and experience new freedom in their bodies and minds.