Asana refer to the poses that form part of a yoga practice. Hatha is synonymous with the totality of yoga and forms the basis of almost all other styles of yoga. There is often a focus on asana, but yoga would be just another physical activity if it did not include the other subtle elements – breathing, meditation, purification, mudras and bandas, which assist the body to create a union with mind and spirit, enhancing awareness, well-being and balance.
Breathing (pranayama) is the single most important thing we do every day, and probably the one we pay the least attention to but correct and focused breathing has many health benefits and is actually a really simple way to improve our lives. Focused/controlled breathing can improve brain function and stimulate brain growth, improve the cardiovascular system, lower stress and blood pressure, improve immune function and reduce anxiety levels. Breathing can help to regulate emotions, from sadness to anger, and even alter gene expression….. and it can be done anywhere. Increased oxygen flow, release of toxins and even reduction of pain are just a few of the benefits of attentive breathing techniques.
The word Pranayama is derived from 2 Sanskrit words – Prana – life force or breath- and ayam – meaning control. Pran – the bridge between body, mind and consciousness. Breath and mind are closely connected. Through the practice of pranayama, we gain control of the mind.
There are so many positive attributes to a regular meditation practice – a calmer, more harmonious approach to life, a clearer perspective on day to day challenges and greater focus and clarity. There are numerous approaches to meditation – we host classes and workshops which demystify meditation enabling you to incorporate simple yet effective meditation practices into your life. There is meditation in movement, stillness and sound – you will find a technique that best suits your lifestyle and temperament.
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy, then you should sit for an hour”