Yoga and Your Faith

by Nicole Howard and Cara Fraser

“Does yoga go against my faith?”

YogaImageIf you are strong in your beliefs this is an important question to ask. We get asked it often here at APC. Our philosophy is that a healthy mind, body and spirit are vital in achieving a good quality of life. And we believe that yoga can be a great solution to this.

The word “yoga” is first found in Hindu texts dating back to the 5th century B.C. The English translation of yoga means to yoke. In essence unite the body, mind and spirit. Yoga did originate in Hinduism and remains part of it today. However, times have changed and the majority of yoga practiced in Western culture today slightly resembles the original Hindu practice.

There are a many types of modern yoga. Some of the most common classes offered at your neighborhood studio include Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram and Iyengar. All have different purposes, but at their core they are based on the physical portion of yoga. The physical postures are known as asana and the breathing exercises called pranayama. The classes all vary in level of intensity from gentle to a hardcore workout. Allowing people of all ages and skill levels to participate.

The word yoga usually coincides with the concept of meditation. There are many ways to meditate and most religions have some kind of form of it. In Western yoga classes the actual breath to movement is said to be meditative alone. At the end of the class there is also a chance to actually lie on the mat and meditate. This form of mediation is completely up to the participant whether that it is mindfulness, a prayer, or a quick power nap. Usually religion plays no role.

Study after study proves that practicing yoga at least once week has an endless amount of health benefits. According to WebMD yoga creates strength, flexibility, corrects postural deviations, reduces stress, and improves heart health. Also WebMD states that mediation, also has a myriad of health benefits. Such as easing chronic pain, anxiety, stress, boosting immunity and mood.

Yoga can do wonders for your physical health and beyond. It truly connects your mind, your body and your spirit, creating a better quality of life.

Connect with the Align Pilates team by calling (949) 481-3577, stop by the studio at 26850 Ortega Hwy., Suite K in San Juan Capistrano or visitwww.alignpilatescenter.com

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