Derived from the sanskrit word “yuj” meaning union, the purpose of Yoga is to unify the Body with the Mind and the Spirit.

Yoga helps Prana aka Chi or life energy to flow through the body with the help of different breathing techniques, postures and meditations.

It is not an art nor is it a philosophy. According to Sadhguru, once you put yoga in a box or attach it with anything, you lose its true meaning.

Yoga is all about one’s journey towards the Union oh their body  and Soul with the Universe. There is no ONE correct way of practising it, as yoga is YOUR practice and should be coming more from the heart than from the head.

Yoga originated in Ancient India thousands of years ago. The Rigveda is one of the 4 ancient vedas from ancient Indian philsosophy. It os one of the oldest books in human history and is the oldest book in vedic sanskrit. Inside of it can be found a text of classical yoga called “Yoga Sutras”written by sage Maharishi Pantanjali around 5000 years ago. 

There, Pantanjali describes the eight limbs of yoga:

  • Yama – Five universal, social ethics: nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non-covetousness
  • Niyama – Five spiritual, personal ethics: cleanliness, contentment, spiritual austerities, study of scriptures and surrender to God.
  • Asana – Physical postures.

  • Pranayama – Breathing exercises to control the flow of prana (vital life force).

  • Pratyahara – Turning the senses inwards.

  • Dharana – Single pointed concentration.

  • Dhyana – Meditation.

  • Samadhi – Merging with the Divine.

According to author Rolf Gates:

The Yoga Sutras are practical in nature, beginning with steps that we can take to reduce negative dramas, while increasing the amount of enthusiasm and joy we can experience in everyday life. From there, they re-establish our connection to the body and the breath. This connection is methodically broadened to encompass the mind and the moment. Ultimately, we are taught to hold our connection to life and everything in it, like the sky holds the weather”.

Some of the different types of yoga include:

  • Gyan yoga,
  • Bhakti yoga,
  • Karma yoga,
  • Hatha yoga,
  • Raj yoga,
  • Mantra yoga,
  • Shiva yoga,
  • Naad yoga,
  • Laya yoga…

Hatha yoga for example includes the trendy yoga styles: ashtanga, restorative, vinyasa and Iyengar.

Here are some proven benefits of Yoga:

  • Cardio vascular benefits

  • Helps fight depression.

  • Stress and anxiety relief

  • Blood pressure’s improvement.

  • Potential decrease of chronic pain.

  • Better flexibility, strength and balance.

  • Sleep patterns improvement.

  • Better breathing.

  • Stronger connection with the body and the mind.

  • Moderate the nervous system

In 2020, New York University Grossman School of Medicine conducted a study on the impact of yoga on chronic anxiety. They assigned 226 adults, diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), to three different study groups: Kundalini yoga (93 participants), CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (90 participant) and stress education (43 participants).

They observed that yoga significantly lowers GAD after 3 months of intervention. 54% of those who practiced yoga met response criteria for meaningfully improved symptoms compared to 33% in the stress-education group.

According to the National Institute of Health, “consistent yoga practice improves depression and can lead to significant increases in serotonin levels couples with decreases in the levels of monamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters and cortisol”.