The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word yoga is "yoke", "to unite". It can be described as union, connection and awareness: union of the body, mind and breath; connection with everyone around us, the earth and all beings everywhere; moving through our lives present, aware and tuned in.
The intended goal of a yoga practice is Peace; we cultivate physical and mental Peace using postures (asanas), breathing (pranayama) and meditation. Each yoga class is an opportunity to practice being present and aware using these ancient tools of yoga. Over time with dedication, discipline and patience we become firmly rooted in a state of Peace, able to experience it in all parts of our lives and share it with the world around us. Imagine a world filled with people operating from a state of Peace...
It doesn't matter how flexible or inflexible you are. What matters is that you show up willing to tune into your body and mind and create some space.
Equipment and clothes. We have yoga mats and any other equipment you may need. Wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to move and breathe in.
Coming to class. Feel free to come to any class that fits your schedule and sounds like a good fit for you. Call if you have any questions about which class is right for you.
How a yoga pose looks outwardly is not important. More important is how it feels on the inside. Each pose is an opportunity to let go of the idea that we are supposed look or be a certain way and choose to sit with ourselves comfortably wherever we are at.
There is no expectation that you will be able to do handstand, or touch your foot to the back of your head or some other advanced pose. Whatever you can do right now is perfect. You are given the space to start where you are at, and see what happens. The only pressure you will ever feel is from yourself. And the good news is, one of the many benefits of yoga is quieting the mind. This internal dialogue to always be better - begins to quiet down - giving you the chance to end this conversation and feel content in each moment.
Your teacher wants you to ask for help. Your teacher really wants to help you with your pose, answer your question about philosophy or explain what that Sanskrit word means. So if you don't understand what's going on, always feel free to ask.
Cultivate a regular yoga practice. There will always be moments of frustration and discomfort. A regular yoga practice can be challenging - physically, mentally and emotionally. At times you may want to throw up your hands and quit (or at least wish your teacher wasn't making you hold that pose you hate). Don't. This is where the growth happens. Breathe into it.
Breathe you are alive!
- Thich Nhat Hanh