What is yoga? Is it a religion?

The word yoga comes from the ancient Sanskrit language of India. It means yoke or to join. Ultimately we want to connect our thoughts, feeling and actions, to bring us into alignment, become congruent.  The union of body, mind, self and ultimately the universe is central to all yoga practice. Yoga is not just a physical workout. If you wish you can take it deeper and achieve a more profound sense of who you are.  It can become a way of life.

It is NOT a religion. It can lift you to higher levels of understanding and consciousness. If you want to work the body then you can keep it purely physical.

There are many paths in yoga to suit all personalities.

Hatha Yoga: This path focuses on the physical body

Jnana Yoga: The path of knowledge.

Karma Yoga: The path of selfless service.

Bhakti Yoga: The path of devotion

Raja Yoga: This path has elements of all the others.

Whilst evidence of yoga goes back over 5000 years it was a sage called Patanjali, around 400 – 600 BCE who first wrote anything down.The 195 Yoga Sutras form the theoretical and philosophical basis of Raja Yoga, and are considered to be the most organized and complete definition of that discipline. The Sutras provide yoga with a thorough and consistent philosophical basis.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

  1. Yamas:  Code of conduct – Controls
    Non Violence
    Absence of Falsehood
    Non Stealing
    Sensory control
    Non Possessiveness
  2. Niyamas:  Practices – Direction
    Self Study
    Dedication to the highest
  3. Asana: Physical Movemnet
    Working with movement and postures to help to strengthen the physical body which will bring power and health to body and mind.
  4. Pranyama: The science of the breath
    Prana, chi, or ki is the life force in the body manifesting in the breath. With breathing exercises and techniques, it is possible to bring about profound changes in the physical body and mind.
  5. Pratyahara: Withdrawal of awareness from the senses
    With regular practice and awareness, it is possible to create a sense of non attachment to usual desires. A more controlled mind allows more freedom and stronger choices can be made based on awareness rather than desire.
  6. Dharanam: Concentration
    The practice of one pointed concentration. Focusing on one thing, the breath, a flame, an image or a mantra helps to quieten the mind’s fluctuations
  7. Dhyanam:  Meditation
    With practice of controlling the breathe, the senses and concentration then Meditation will allow you to access your inner power and connect to the highest within.
  8. Samadhi: State of complete and integrated consciousness
    The ultimate goal of yoga, knowing and understanding our connection with all life.

What are the Benefits of Practising Dru Yoga?

Dru Yoga has something for everyone. There is NO competition. Just you on your mat. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to be bendy, fit, slim, young, rich, or strong to take up Dru Yoga

  • Help you get fit and helps you stay fit.
  • Reduces stress and helps you stay calm.
  • Eases aches and pains.
  • Improves circulation
  • Increases happiness
  • Boost confidence, helps you be the best you, you can be.
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Is good for your sex life
  • Tones the body
  • Builds strength

The benefits of practising Dru Yoga are immense, very varied and for many people life changing. It is very individual and you take from it exactly what you need. As well as the many physical benefits, other benefits include an improvement in wellbeing, increased confidence, and a greater sense of inner calm. If you want to go deeper, it can transform the way you view different aspects of your life.

Physical Benefits: Better health on the outside.

  • Improved flexibility through stretching
  • Greater strength with weight bearing exercises
  • Better balance with poses where you stand on one leg
  • Improved core muscle tone with regular strengthening
  • Increased stamina with more demanding postures
  • Weight loss through increased regular exercise
  • Improved circulation with specific movements and breathing techniques
  • Pain reduction with targeted postures, breath awareness and visualization

Everyone is busy today, rushing about, meeting deadlines. There is now more pressure on individuals to perform. We are “doing “all the time.
There is little ‘down’ time for the body or the mind.

Mental / Emotional Benefits : Better health in the inside

  • Stress relief by allowing yourself some ‘me’ time
  • Enhanced mood by allowing yourself to relax and just be you
  • Greater clarity by stopping and being aware of what/how you are thinking
  • Greater concentration stopping and relaxing creates a sharper mind.
  • Awareness of others creates a kinder and more compassionate human being

Who can do Dru Yoga?

The simple answer is everyone.
Regardless of age or ability or fitness level Dru Yoga is inclusive.
This does not mean you can be irresponsible with your body. Those who have medical conditions may need to seek medical advice. To enable you to get the absolute best from your Dru Yoga class, your yoga teacher will need to know any relevant medical information. This will be totally confidential.

Do I need anything special to practise Dru Yoga?

You will need an open heart and an open mind !  You don’t really NEED anything, but most people want to have their own mat, which is theirs, that no one else has used. Get the best you can afford. I have some, which you can buy. Wear loose comfortable clothes, tracksuit bottoms or soft trousers. No belts or tight jeans.