Yoga for Beginners

Important Information Before You Start



Yoga for Beginners

Yoga's Meaning

Ardha Matsyendrasana Before we get to the poses that most people associate with yoga, let's discuss a little about the real meaning of yoga. As a beginner, you should start with a solid foundation for your yoga practice.

The word yoga means union. Everything comes together in yoga: the body, mind, breath and spirit. When we start to feel the unification of all these aspects of ourselves, we then can come to the realization that not only are our senses, breath, and body interrelated, but everything in the entire universe is also interrelated.

Yoga for Beginners

Ancient History

The ancient sages knew and taught thousands of years ago what scientists are just now starting to discover. We live in a world that is not solid, as our senses lead us to believe.

Shiva

Our bodies and everything that we perceive as solid is actually nothing but energy and information, swirling at lightening speeds.

What does all this mean? We are spiritual beings of radiant light with access to the most incredible forces of energy. Our limited brains cannot comprehend the magnitude of power that is available to us on every level, but all it takes is the desire to know.

Yoga for Beginners

The Life Force

The energy that is around us is the omnipotent creative force of the universe. Its gifts are obvious and just waiting to be utilized. Few people know how to gain access to the abundance of gifts that are ours for the taking. Once we learn the ways to open up to these creative forces, we find that there are ways to overcome the most difficult situations. It takes clarity of mind, an open heart, and a deep connection to the Self.

Yoga for Beginners

Pranayama

The breath is primary, for without breath, there is no life. We are dependent upon our breath for life, although we usually are not even aware of it. That fact alone gives rise to the awareness that the body, even though we are not conscious of it, is connected and lives because of a greater force. That force, or life energy, is called prana. Prana is the life force. It is not the air or the breath, but the actual life force that animates our body as a result of the breath.

Yoga for Beginners

Asana

Chest Expansion
When we practice yoga asanas, we connect movement with the breath and we learn to expand, strengthen and flow as human beings. It is wonderful to feel alive, move and stretch. Yoga asanas allow for greater freedom of the physical body, greater capacity for oxygen and increased flexibility. But the real reason for the inception of yoga asanas was to strengthen and purify the body so that it could withstand long hours in meditation in order to connect with our highest cosmic energy, the spirit or true Self, also known at Atman.


Yoga for Beginners

Meditation

Meditation is not difficult. It is the focusing of the mind on one point, and eventually letting go of all thought. It is wonderful to feel alive, move and stretch. Yoga asanas allow for greater freedom of the physical body, greater capacity for oxygen and increased flexibility. But the real reason for the inception of yoga asanas was to strengthen and purify the body so that it could withstand long hours in meditation in order to connect with our highest cosmic energy, the spirit or true Self, also known at Atman.

Yoga for Beginners

Meditation

Meditation is not difficult. It is the focusing of the mind on one point, and eventually letting go of all thought. Meditation is the way to clear up the clutter that blocks true creativity and problem solving. Meditation is not difficult once you have basic knowledge of the process. An important part of being able to meditate involves letting go of judgment of yourself and others. That, for some, is the most difficult part. Once you have established a meditation practice, you will notice how things that were major sources of upset are now just minor nuisances. The ability to overcome obstacles becomes easier and our lives flow with more clarity. For some, the ultimate unfolding of meditation results in Samadhi, or the state of complete bliss.

More About Yoga

For more detailed information on yoga and its origins, read about these subjects:

The History of Yoga

The Eight Limbs of Yoga


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