Middle Path Yoga
Brighton and Hove, England
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what is yoga?
Anat - prenatal yoga
Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India around 5000 years ago. The word yoga stems from the Sanskrit word "Yuj" meaning to yoke, join or unite. Yoga is best known as a set of physical practices that include stretching, breathing and deep relaxation. On a deeper level yoga aims to unite all aspects of the person balancing the physical, mental, and emotional. In this way it is seen as a way of life rather than just a series of exercises. Today yoga comes in many different styles. Some practices stick closely to the classic yoga sutras others have been adapted for the 21st century. Some styles of yoga use fixed routines others change every class.

hatha yoga

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Hatha yoga can be roughly translated as the union between sun and moon - ‘ha’ and ‘tha’. It is the term used to differentiate between the physical side of yoga and its broader context. In this way all physical yoga is, in fact, hatha yoga no matter which style you choose. Hatha yoga does not have a fixed routine and can therefore be adapted to suit all practitioners. The asanas (postures) are traditionally held for enough time for the body to 'sink' into the pose. By holding the asana one learns to quietly focus on the areas that need help. Some poses are simple and can be held for a number of minutes, other, more challenging poses may initially only be held for a few seconds.

emma leg raise

postures

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Jim warrior stance

The yoga postures (asanas in sanskrit) are held steadily with focus and there is therefore no risk of high impact strain. The main aim of asanas is to develop control of our physical body, which in turn helps to control and calm our restless minds.

Asanas are not only beneficial to the muscles and joints but also work internally regulating the function of organs and the nervous system helping them to work to their full potential.

 

breathing

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Yoga teaches us how to use the breath to help us relax and stay focused. Combined with the asanas, the pranayama (breathing exercises) help to regulate the flow of air and energy (prana) around the body.

Most people use only a small part of their lungs and often suffer from fatigue or respiratory disorders as a result.

Pranayama helps us to fully oxygenate the body and has a soothing and balancing effect on the nervous system helping to relieve stress related problems such as migraines and insomnia.

ellie
 
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