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Yoga Is More Than Body Bending


We think of Yoga as a series of physical exercises where we teach our bodies to bend into strange shapes and "poses." Yoga certainly involves complex exercises and for many, a Yoga workout is the entire practice.


The physical exercise of Yoga is wonderful for the body. People who practice it regularly have better balance, better posture, and generally feel better all over. It is especially good for the elderly because it is so gentle and ability is built over time. There are even Yoga programs for people sitting in chairs (or wheelchairs.)


Yoga actually is the union of mind, body and spirit. There are several branches of Yoga which, when practiced, will strengthen knowledge, love, personal freedom and mind-body awareness. >>More

Yama: Rules of Social Behavior


From "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga" by Deepak Chopra and David Simon, we learn "...the Yamas are traditionally described as:

  1. practicing nonviolence
  2. speaking truthfully
  3. exercising appropriate sexual control
  4. being hones
  5. being generous

Niyama: Rules of Personal Behavior


"The rules of Niyama are generally described as:

  1. purity
  2. contentment
  3. discipline
  4. spiritual exploration
  5. surrender to the divine"

Asana: Physical Exercise or Postures


This branch is what most people think of when considering Yoga. These are the postures people use to develop physical flexibility and tone. With practice, we can become aware of life energy flowing through our bodies during these postures.


Pranayama: Life Force


This branch is all about the spirit or life force within us. The discipline of Pranayama is to use breathing techniques to center and quiet your mind and so to develop an expanded awareness of all.

Pratyahara: The Five Senses


This discipline awakens the senses of sound, touch, sight, taste and smell. By developing awareness of the experiences these senses bring, you can move yourself to a quieter place where disturbing sensations in your environment will not trouble you.

Dharana: Attention and Intention


When you pay attention to something, it becomes more important. Using this discipline, you can heal and transform you body and mind. When you have activated something with your attention, your intentions will unfold in your life.

Samahdi: Spiritual Knowing


This is knowing yourself to be in harmony with everyone and everything. You are one with the flow of life.