What is Yoga?

There are many different ideas related to Yoga, where it comes from, what it is all about, and how to practice a range of techniques.

Generally, it is recognized as an ancient system of philosophies, principles and practices derived from the Vedic tradition of India and the Himalayas, more than 2500 years ago. It is a system that recognizes the multi-dimensional nature of the human person, and primarily relates to the nature and workings of the mind, based on experiential practice and self-inquiry.

In Yoga, the body, breath and mind are seen as a union of these multi-dimensional aspects of each and every human being. The system and various techniques of Yoga cultivate the experience of that union, leading to greater integration of being, internal peacefulness, and clarity of the mind. It is a system that is designed to cultivate health and happiness, and a greater sense of self-awareness and higher consciousness.

Yoga cultivates health and well-being (physical, emotional, mental and social) through the regular practice of a range of many different techniques, including postures and movement, breath awareness and breathing exercises, relaxation and concentration, self-inquiry and meditation.

Yoga is an approach to life that values appropriate effort, based on balance and harmony, within each person and with each other. read more…https://www.yogaaustralia.org.au/what-is-yoga/


Eat Like a Yogi

Admittedly, extending your yoga practice to the dinner table is not an easy task, mostly because the classic yogic texts such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita don't list any specific foods for following a "yogic diet." And even if they did, it's highly unlikely that the foods prescribed in India thousands of years ago would be appropriate today for each and every one of us.

But while there is no prescribed menu for yogis, there is a yogic diet, says Gary Kraftsow, the founder of the American Viniyoga Institute. "These are ingredients that enhance clarity and lightness, keeping the body light and nourished and the mind clear," he explains. In other words, a diet that offers your body a great basis for practice—or encourages the same effects as practice—makes for a great yogic diet.

In the Ayurvedic tradition, foods that are considered sattvic include most vegetables, ghee (clarified butter), fruits, legumes, and whole grains. In contrast, tamasic foods (such as onions, meat, and garlic) and rajasic foods (such as coffee, hot peppers, and salt) can increase dullness or hyperactivity, respectively. But maintaining a diet that keeps your body light and your mind clear doesn't necessarily mean eating only sattvic foods. What is best for you and what in the end will best support your yoga practice is informed by your constitution (known in the Ayurvedic tradition as vikriti) and your current state (prakriti), Kraftsow says. "Both need to be considered," read more …https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/eat-like-a-yogi


Yoga and Pain

Yoga can be helpful in pain management with both physical and mental benefits, but yoga is not a quick fix solution. Yoga has many of the same benefits as mindfulness practice, due to the common focus on breath, body and present moment awareness. Because yoga is also a physical practice many people find yoga more accessible than traditional meditation practices, which are undertaken in stillness.

Yoga is particularly helpful in promoting relaxation when encountering stress and agitation. Yoga traditionally serves as a ‘warm up’ of sorts for formal sitting and lying mindfulness meditation practice. Yoga can also invigorate the body to help counter depression.

Yoga is very helpful in treating some of the mechanical aspects of pain, for example when there are tight muscles which contribute to pain. However, practiced incorrectly or without proper supervision yoga can also exacerbate your pain in the short term, despite the fact that research shows yoga is as safe as usual care and exercise. Coming up with a helpful yoga routine requires greater care and experience when you have a persistent pain condition, especially when your nervous system is sensitized and you are prone to flare-ups.

When starting yoga it is important to start slowly and it must be practiced regularly and with awareness to be effective.

read more … https://painhealth.csse.uwa.edu.au/pain-module/yoga/