Yoga means “union” or to “yoke” the body, mind and spirit. Yoga originated in India about 3,500 years ago and is claimed to be India’s “greatest gift to the West.” Today, yoga is one of the fastest-growing forms of exercise due to its calming effects on the mind, and invigorating effects on the body. Once considered an alternative “hippie thing,” yoga studios are sprouting up on every corner from the Rockaway boardwalk—to the Wall Street boardroom. Why? Because yoga challenges the mind and body, is a more holistic approach to exercise, and helps us find better balance, strength and flexibility on the mat--and off.
The Yoga Sutras, written over 3,000 years ago states, “in order to do yoga, one must learn to still the fluctuations of the mind.” Yoga started as philosophical guide on how to better control the mind in order to live a peaceful existence. The practice of yoga aligns you with your center, your source. Through the union of body, mind and breath, yoga invites you into the present moment in a relaxing and energizing way. Through breathing techniques and movement, yoga helps you find your way hOMe.
As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Yoga in its full form combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and a distinct philosophy. Dozens of studies have been published allowing us to have a deeper understanding of anatomy and physiology of not just the asana (postures) but also pranayama (breath) and meditation. Fascinating evidence has emerged on how the practice affects our body, mind and spirit. Although the prevalence of yoga is at an all-time high, 9.5% of U.S. adults (21 million used: National Health Interview Survey), much of the research is still in the early stages.
There are many different types of yoga classes, which can cause confusion for the novice student. Hatha yoga is the most common type of yoga practiced today and combines the physical postures and the breath. Hatha is a Sanskrit word that means “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha), and represents the opposing energies in our bodies. By uniting these opposing energies, like the mind and body, movement and breath, one can achieve a state of balance and harmony, or “yoga.”
At Shift, we can customize a yoga plan that is right for you based on your level, age and desire. Whether you want to learn the basics, deepen your practice, or use yoga as your moving meditation, we can find the class that’s right for you. Our teachers can offer you a yoga practice that is safe, challenging and fun.
We offer private sessions, couples, small group, workshops and can accommodate a yoga party!
From beginner to advanced: It’s time to get off your asana and on your mat!
Julie Graham, RYT 500, began her yoga practice in 2000, and has been on her mat ever since. In 2005, she became a 200-hour yoga teacher and subsequently an advanced 300-Hour teacher from the renowned YogaWorks school. She has developed multiple yoga and meditation programs for non-profits, large corporations, like Harvard Medical School, NBC and Telemundo, and currently teaches at yoga studios and for private clients in NYC.