Yoga is everywhere you look. Driving through my town of Naperville, I pass ten yoga studios on my way to the store. For many years I dismissed yoga because I thought it would make me (get this) too flexible. However, recently I’ve found yoga in my life and its turned out to balance my Pilates and ballet training. I started practicing as a cross training method for marathon training, but soon realized how much strength I was gaining in body and mind. In the past few weeks my legs have reached new heights in développé, I can balance longer, and I’ve been able to let go of stress easily. Although there are some aspects of yoga I struggle with, I do appreciate the strength of Om.

Ever wonder what yoga is all about? Here’s some basic information for your education:

– It was created in India and has been practiced for over 5,000 years.

– The word Yoga is derived from the word yugam which means “unite” or “to join.”

Yoga aspires to liberation and self-knowledge through meditation.

Yoga is a series of specific poses with controlled breathing, that start by standing, then sitting, and finish laying down. In some forms of Yoga meditation and chanting are involved.

– Breath in Yoga is used to center the body in meditation while performing “asanas,” postures.

Yoga at times requires tools such as towels, blocks, or straps to help attain positions or increase a stretch.

– The full body and mind are used throughout each Yoga pose to make the position complete.

– Benefits of Yoga are strengthening your cardiovascular system, toning and stretching your muscles, and improving your mental fitness.

Photo by Andrew Grant

Have you notice yoga has changed the way you take class? Tell me how!