How can yoga help me?
The benefits of yoga can be both dramatic and subtle. They occur through many aspects of the practice, including:
• bringing breath to the body
• calming the nervous system
• stimulating circulation
• stretching muscles and fascia
• strengthening muscles
• challenging mental limitations
• building patience
This can result in:
• a feeling of well-being, acceptance and/or balance
• increased energy and strength
• more balanced posture
• reduction in pain
• faster reflexes, better function
• improved digestion
• increased mental clarity and confidence
• and for some … a tendency to want to take more classes!
Will yoga make me healthy/lose weight/flexible?
Recently in the West yoga has been used for physical fitness, but the ancient origins of yoga were in seeking truth and balance and an understanding of life and what it means to be human. It’s through this seeking that health can reveal itself, and it does so on an individual basis. Through the practice of yoga, the practitioner’s relationship with their own body, mind, emotions, and spirit can grow to provide deeper understanding and self-awareness. In this way, health problems (for example) can become apparent more quickly and the practitioner can learn to assume greater responsibility for their own health. As with any type of physical activity, weight loss is a possibility but with yoga it is neither a goal nor expected (as strength builds, weight can actually increase). Regular practice can definitely increase flexibility, but a few weeks of classes is unlikely to provide lasting change an inherent tendency towards tension in any given area. Yoga helps us to live more healthfully in the bodies we were born with, in the circumstances we are in today.
Do I have to practice every day?
In general, no. In time, you may wish to establish a regular home practice. Yoga can grow on you! Even 10 minutes is a good start, and it doesn’t need to be every single day. As you learn which asana (postures) are of benefit to you, you may find yourself doing them naturally. And if you don’t, that is fine; you can still attend classes and benefit from the social environment and instructional support. However, if there’s a particular concern you are hoping to address through yoga (say, an old injury) once a week will probably not be enough practice to create the change you are seeking, and you may wish to begin a regular home practice.
Is yoga a religion?
Yoga is not a religion. The physical practice of Hatha yoga is part of a thirty-thousand-year-old tradition (five-thousand written) and philosophy of life from which some religions (including Buddhism and Hinduism) did eventually arise. The practice of asana was developed to prepare the body to comfortably sit still in meditation, so that the rishis (wise ones) could discover the meaning of life through the practice of meditation. My classes may also include aspects of Bhakti yoga (devotion) through chant and Raja yoga (mind) in meditation, as they relate to the practice of Hatha yoga.
What do I wear?
Wear clothes you can move in and are comfortable in.
How do I register?
For classes at Red River Acupuncture, please contact me at (807) 632-6591 or yoga (at) robinfaye.ca.