Yoga is thousands of years old and untold books and sutras have been written on its value as a healing art and a path to awakening. The Sanskrit word translates to ‘union.’ Although most modern practitioners of yoga focus on the asanas, or poses, for personal fitness, it’s highest aim is spiritual. In Jivamukti, David Life and Susan Gannon describe this aim as “joining our mortal and finite small self to the eternal and infinite Self.”
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
As a therapeutic technique, it combines elements of massage, meditation, conscious breathing, and concentration, which can have many profound benefits for all aspects of the body and mind.
Yoga works directly with the fascia, or connective tissue of the body, elongating the fabric of that tissue and retraining the anatomy holistically, healing all the parts in concert. It also shifts the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is calming and restorative, what Herbert Benson, MD, calls “the relaxation response”.
Joint cartilage and spinal disks crave movement, as that is how fresh nutrients are introduced. Yoga asanas are designed to maximize detoxification and purification of the joints, muscles, bones, organs and their psychospiritual corollaries.
Yoga brings awareness to how we hold ourselves, the patterns of our breath, and in what situations we tend to constrict or stop breathing. Yoga is a gentle beckoning to stretch, to explore the space around our perceived limits, and to observe the mind’s discursiveness, it’s ever-present commentary. The simple practice of returning to the breath, again and again, is a gentle training of the mind, and imbues our lives with a practical awareness of the richness of the present moment.
Our Yoga Practice
There are many different styles of yoga.
We work with several yoga practitioners who practice variations of Vinyasa yoga in small groups or private one-on-one classes, specifically tailored to your needs and skill level. In addition, we can help you to design a personal practice that you can use when you leave Pangea.
There are many excellent online yoga classes. You can find classes for anything from relaxation or focus, to sciatic back pain, to improving digestion.