Yogawhat is yoga? So perhaps you are asking what is yoga? It is a systematic technology that improves the body and mind and frees the spirit. With practice, it strengthens and calms the nervous system, increasing blood to internal organs, bringing more oxygen to the cells and clearing clutter from the mind. Mind clutter can disturb or even wreck your life’s harmony. Clearing the minds clutter allows one to see things more clearly; creating happiness, balance and peace in your life.

Although it has its roots in India, its content is universal in that it is way we can make positive changes in our daily lives. It’s practice consists of Asana, Pranayama and meditation. You are still asking what is Yoga? By linking awareness of breath with the body moving and stationary postures, the mind becomes calm and connected. The profound change that people experience through practicing and taking yoga classes is not usually the result of the philosophical studies but by the practice of connection of the breath within the body and practicing often. The ability to focus on daily tasks and achieve life’s goals improves; new calm and constructive ways of handling our emotions and life’s situations are recognized; feelings of stillness or connectedness occur and often there is a general improvement in the circumstances of everyday life.

Asana translates to posture derived from the Sanskrit word “to be”. Pantanjalis “Yoga Sutra” describes asana as having 2 important qualities: sthira and sukha. Sthira is steadiness and alertness and sukha is the ability to remain calm and comfortable within the asana. Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels including the external – firmness of the body; the internal which brings steadiness of intelligence; and the innermost which brings benevolence of spirit. The question still lingers, what is yoga?

Pranayama consists of prana and Ayama. Ayama means to stretch and prana refers to life force, something that flows continuously from inside of us, maintaining our vitality. The amount of prana outside the body is greater when we do not feel well. The more peaceful and balanced we are, the less our prana is disperse outside the body. The state of our mind is closely linked to the quality of prana or breath within. Pranayama teaches that whatever happens in the mind influences the breath. Pranyama breath work relieves blockages inside the body and mind and prepares us for yoga meditation.

So for the average uninitiated person in Tampa, Clearwater, St Pete and throughout Tampa Bay wanting to experience yoga classes and understand, what is yoga? The origins of this art reach back over five thousand years to India. It is a system of mind and body awareness developed and designed to bring those who practice it high levels of physical and mental health. The word literally means “to join together”. Most people new to it believe it is a form of exercise based on postures. The body’s physical evolvement through yoga postures is the first place for most to start their journey to a better life through yoga. Awareness of breath and an understanding of how controlling our breathing affects the mind and body is the next major element of development for students. Yoga meditation is the third element to be joined together for the student. The combination of these three proved the practitioner with a healthy body and a calm healthy mind which usually leads to happy balanced life.

Hopefully we have answered your question, what is yoga? So you can begin here by finding the perfect instructor to guide you. Tampa, Clearwater and St Pete have some of the best teachers anywhere. You will be able to find group yoga classes or instructors to provide private yoga classes in your home.

–Written by Patricia Jimenez (E-RYT)