“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” ― Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Finding an outlet that can ease away the tough struggles and stress of the day, is key to a long happy and healthy life. And finding that outlet in a practice that can reshape the mind, body and spirit is even better. Yoga, one of the six astika schools of Hindu philosophy, incorporates these three aspects of the self and is also found in Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and in less spiritual and more popular practices of the mainstream.
Yoga, and other aspects of the Indian culture, met the West as the Beatles brought their interest of mysticism and the Hare Krishna movement to their Western audience. The Yoga Sutras that focused on discipline of the mind, and Hatha yoga concentrated on health and purity of the body, became a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma and heart patients in the West as the 80’s rolled along.
“Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.” ― Amit Ray, Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Lifestyle
Yoga classes in the West focus on learning physical poses, called asanas, and include breathing and meditation techniques as well. Certain classes focus on strengthening your body, relaxation, or just flexibility which is great for people trying to focus on one or more aspects of their mind, body and spirit.
Upon strength training, increasing flexibility, and relieving stress, yoga has also been known to promote improve posture, fortify your concentration and better your mood. Yoga can be practiced any place and anywhere just by taking deep breaths in stressful situations. Yoga is for people of all ages and all skill sets who seek to better their mind, body and spirit.
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