What is Yoga?

The sanskirt word yoga, is derived from the root yuj which means to yoke. In other terms yoga means "union" or "harmony," it is both a philosophical system and a science whose goal is promoting personal transformation through the attainment of self-awareness. With its beginnings enshrouded in the prehistory of India, evidence of yoga practices have been found in the Indus Valley civilization of 2,000-4,000 B.C.E. Although ancient, yoga is not outdated. Over time it has split into dozens of disparate systems, but all share roots in the philosophy laid down in the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, a text authored in South Asia sometime between 200 B.C. and 500 B.C.E. Today, yoga is the fastest growing form of “group exercise”. Although many westerners have classified yoga as a form of exercise, its exercise goes beyond that of the physical. Students often report coming to yoga for the reasons of physical health but after a few months of practicing they report experiencing greater clarity, peace of mind and an overall sense of well being. It has tremendous value for the modern day world, a world that is continually stressed out trying to adapt to this ever-changing technologically fast-paced lifestyle. Open Space yoga offers the opportunity to take a “time-out” and enter into the peace that can only come when we settle the mind into stillness. Through physical movement, breathing and meditation we can deepen our understanding of the self and learn to “yoke” with something greater.


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