Generally, Yoga is recognised as an ancient system of philosophies, principles and practices dating back more than 2500 years from the Vedic tradition of the Himalayas and India. It is a system that is based on experiential practice and self-enquiry and relates primarily to the workings and nature of the human mind.
The body, breath and mind are seen in Yoga as a union of the multi-dimensional aspects of every human being. Yoga uses systems and various techniques that lead to greater integration of internal peacefulness, clarity of the mind and being. Yoga is designed to promote health and happiness, and a greater sense of higher consciousness and self-awareness.
Yoga cultivates physical, emotional, mental and social health through the regular practice of various different techniques, including breath awareness and breathing exercises, postures and movement, relaxation and concentration, self-inquiry and meditation.
Yoga is an approach to a life based on balance and harmony, that within each person and with each other, values appropriate effort.
What happens in a typical yoga class?
Depending on the particular tradition or style of the school or teacher, Yoga classes generally span 1 – 1½ hours.
A common yoga class typically includes:
- An introductionSome breathing exercises and/or relaxation
- A Physical warm up
- Yoga postures, movements and stretches
- Meditation and / or relaxation.
Participants may often practice on yoga / exercise mats.
Many yoga teachers may offer classes dedicated to the practice of meditation which is generally an integral part of Yoga. These classes are normally conducted either on cushions on the floor, or seated on chairs.
A dedicated meditation class usually includes:
- An introduction
- Breathing exercises, relaxation and some inspirational readings
- A number of mental focusing and meditation practices
- Returning to an outward focus and brief discussion