"Why Yoga?" -Yoga for You Article
Yoga focuses on improving your physical, mental and spiritual well being through a combination of poses,
meditation and breathing exercises.  Physically, yoga increases your strength, balance and flexibility.  It
improves circulation and helps to prevent and relieve physical ailments.  Mentally, yoga calms your mind and
relieves stress.  It improves your attention span and concentration.  Spiritually, the wholeness that you achieve
from harmonizing your body, mind and soul brings you inner peace.

The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj”, which means “to join” or “to unify”; hence, the goal of
yoga is to unite mind, body and soul.  Yoga originated in India more than 5,000 years ago.  Today there are
many different types and traditions of yoga and there have been many changes over the years.

Hatha yoga is the physical practice of yoga and it is the one most commonly practiced in the western world.  
The goal, as with all traditions of yoga, is to achieve union of the mind, body and spirit.  With Hatha Yoga, this
is done through physical actions.  The different practices of Hatha Yoga range from quite physically
demanding postures and movements to relaxing, gentle stretches.  Everyone can practice yoga, regardless of
age or fitness level.  Yoga can be modified to meet the needs of all.  There is no competition.  It is truly meant
to be your own personal journey.  Encouraging the participant to improve their self-awareness and take care
of their body to achieve or maintain a healthy body.  It is not about ignoring the body and pushing past its limits
and into pain.  It is about listening to the body and challenging it while respecting its limits.

A typical yoga class consists of breath work (pranayama), physical poses (asanas) and relaxation (savasana).  
The physical poses can be all or some of the following: seated poses, standing poses, balancing poses,
forward bends, back extensions, inversions, spinal twists and relaxation poses.  Instead of repeating the same
exercise over and over, possibly targeting only one specific area of the body, yoga use poses and counter
poses to balance the entire body.  It also involves the mind, the physical postures are approached with
concentration and awareness and the attention is always brought back to the breath. This keeps the
participant in the “here and now” and again, creates that link or union of mind, body and soul, working towards
that sense of wholeness and tranquility.

“Yoga for You Inc.” is a
now an online yoga studio.
See what is being offered via
Zoom classes and the Yoga for You Online Studio.
by Tracy Koluk
Yoga Association of Alberta Certified Instructor
Mount Royal University Ceritified Yoga Therapist