“Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to yoke, or union. In modern terms, union between body and mind, greater integration of ourselves as a path to liberation.
Uniting body and mind means embodiment – so many people today are very disembodied, have lost touch with their bodily sensations. Modern scientific research shows that embodiment as a form of mindfulness can help relieve stress and anxiety, putting us back in touch with the body as the container for our emotions (so when we feel angry it anxious, we really notice where we feel it in the body).
Yoga as physical postures is just one of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s ancient system (we will look at the others in weeks to come), as well as our ethical behaviour, meditation and breath control.
Yoga is good for bodies in the modern world which are often hunched over computers for hours every day. It’s a good way to increase flexibility and gain strength. It is also great for relieving insomnia, managing stress and simulating the abdominal organs and assisting digestion. So what are you waiting for?