What is Yoga?
Yoga is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent over 2500 years ago. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit language, and the basic definitions of yoga include ‘union’ and ‘connection’. Yoga can therefore mean a union or connection to one’s self: the mind, body, breath, heart and soul; and/or to a higher power. Yoga is not something that we do, rather yoga is a state of being.
As a complete mind, body and soul based system for living, yoga encompasses a range of different mental, physical and spiritual practices. We can think of yoga as a tree with 8 major branches: moral principles (yamas); virtuous habits (niyamas); postures (asanas/hatha yoga); breathing exercises (pranayama); detachment (pratyahara)); concentration and contemplation meditation (dharana and dhyana); and enlightenment (samadhi).
Although yoga may have its spiritual roots in eastern religions like hinduism and buddhism, the physical practice of hatha yoga and the mental application of meditation have since become popular elements in mainstream western culture.
The Mindful Body & Spirit approach to Yoga.
Each Mindful Body & Spirit yoga class is a creative blend of classical and contemporary yoga postures, movements and sequences, mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, intentions, affirmations, visualisations, ancient and modern words of wisdom.
Given his own personal experience of applying yoga as a tool for managing his own mental and emotional wellbeing, Paul’s yoga classes have a strong emphasis on decreasing mental and emotional stress, releasing tension from the body, quieting the mind and staying connected to the present moment.
On a physical level, Paul’s yoga classes are an eclectic mix of static poses and flowing movements, drawing inspiration from various styles of yoga including hatha, vinyasa, slow-flow and yin. With his open-minded approach, Paul also includes elements of Pilates