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This is my written philosophy about Yoga practice: 

Hatha Yoga is the Sanskrit name given to a practice of commitment and self-study. It uses the movement of the physical body to obtain strength, purity, longevity, and an open mind towards the goal that all humans eventually have in common, a deeper connection with truth.  Though it may lead one to a more meaningful understanding of spirit, it is not dependent on a religion.  As Americans, we have most often emphasized the physical benefits over all else.  Whether it's called Hot Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Anusara Yoga, Power Yoga, Bikram's Yoga, Pre-Natal Yoga, Integral Yoga, Beginning Yoga, etc., these are all simply different approaches within  Hatha Yoga.  Listed below are some links that offer information on other Branches of Yoga.  It is possible to study more than one type of Yoga and one can be a step towards another.  

Yoga is a system that promotes quality in one's approach to life: physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The adaptability of this Yoga makes it possible to achieve a variety of goals: strength and flexibility of the body; focus and relaxation of the mind; correction of breathing to reduce stress and maximize body functions; an increase of circulation to provide the distribution of oxygen and hormones to the body's vital organs; the release of tension in muscles; improvement of concentration, poise, and a stable emotional nature; increase of energy and recovery from fatigue.  The health and physical benefits that yoga offers are impressive.  A regular practice will not only benefit the body's muscular and skeletal systems, but all of the internal organs, including glands and nerves, releasing physical and mental tension and liberating vast resources of energy.  Over 80% of health clubs and fitness organizations are offering yoga classes now, and more and more people are looking to yoga to keep their bodies in shape.

Yet, there is another side to Yoga. Those solely seeking its physical benefits also eventually find themselves glancing, perhaps for the first time, into their own inner-self, where they find serenity, an ability to overcome fears, and an openness they didn't know they had. The yoga poses, or asanas (see links below), lead us deeper into our own truths. A certain emotional honesty develops within by simply doing the poses. In the original Yoga Sutras, which were composed around 300 BC, Patanjali stated, "In order to reach the self, one must overcome self deception", and this is what magically happens when we do yoga in a regular practice. We find that it isn't a matter of how a pose looks or how far we carry it. Rather, it is what we learn about ourselves in that pose, in that place of emotional honesty and vulnerability. We find that any competition in yoga is not with others, but right within our own minds and egos, in the form of honesty.

Through its physical benefits, Yoga helps us tap into the opposite of fast living to find a place comfortable enough to do the searching for our spirit. So plainly speaking, at the end of a yoga session one would be relaxed yet full of energy, ready to listen to what is going on in the inner, where true spirituality happens. Regardless of one's spiritual beliefs, if one is open enough to accept it, Yoga can help them to integrate their body and mind into a deeper study of their beliefs, and their individual path.


For information about Hatha Yoga Instruction, go to Complete Services and Fees or Yoga Instruction.



Links to more information about Hatha Yoga and some other Branches of Yoga:
http://holisticonline.com/Yoga/hol_yoga_home.htm
http://www.santosha.com/asanas/
http://www.yogabasics.com/yoga/YogaHistory.html
http://www.masterpath.org
http://www.spiritandsky.com/yoga/paths/

 
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