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All techniques of Yoga aim to produce tranquility of mind body and spirit.

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One who follows the path of Yoga is a yogi. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline originating in ancient India. The practice of Yoga in our culture today has become much more focused on the physical aspects like strength and flexibility. But the roots of Yoga are deep seeded so no matter how physically focused it has become, the practice of Yoga has its way of letting those roots flow into your entire being and transforming you into an existence of greater awareness and mindful living.

The original intent of Yoga was to rid the body of ailments and achieve physical focus to be centered for effective meditation. Interestingly, this approach of physical centeredness not only does wonders in maximizing meditation, but is also supremely beneficial in other areas that require focus, such as running!

The practice of Yoga helps you care for your entire self. The stretching, strengthening and crazy poses are all physically challenging, sure. But it is the mindful breathing, quieting of the thoughts and enlightened sense of self realization that all become the real assets that can only be achieved by the regular practice of Yoga.

The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning to attach and yoke or direct and concentrate one’s attention. Yoga is the method by which the restless mind is calmed allowing energy to be directed into constructive channels. In Yoga Sutras, Patañjali prescribes adherence to eight limbs to quiet one's mind and achieve the ultimate goal of Yoga; detachment and the destruction of all pain and sorrow.

The eight limbs of Yoga for the quest of the soul are:

  1. Yama – Universal moral commandments
  2. Niyama – Self-purification by discipline
  3. Asana – Posture
  4. Pranayama – Rhythmic control of the breath
  5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal and emancipation of the mind from the domination of the senses and exterior objects
  6. Dharana – Concentration
  7. Dhyana – Meditation
  8. Samadhi – State of super-consciousness brought about by profound meditation

Ultimately, the yogi learns to forget the past and takes no thought for tomorrow, but learns to live in the eternal present.

Aside from the deep significances that are achieved through Yoga, we must always keep in mind that physical health is important for mental development since the mind functions through the nervous system.

Whether you are new to Yoga or have been practicing for a while, there is always more to realize and the opportunity to dig deeper into your practice.

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When you are open, your awareness increases and you have quiet, energetic and joyful energy.” Deepak Chopra

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