Yoga is more than exercise.
Asana, or postures, is just one of the eight limbs of yoga. Yoga, in its full definition, is a philosophy of life that creates more balance and harmony and is an excellent accompaniment to the other western approaches I provide.
It is not mandatory to do any of the eastern philosophies, but I encourage people to try them and then decide if they are helpful for them.
The eastern approaches I use include:
Mindfulness, a practice of being in the present moment through focusing attention and awareness to the here and now.
Meditation is taught to increase attention, which reduces our tendency to let our minds “run the show.”
Breathwork (pranayama) is a highly useful tool for reducing anxiety and depression as the breath is the only autonomic nervous system function we can control.
The 8-limbs of Yoga
The 8-limbs of yoga is the eastern orientation or lens, I use as an overall guideline to teach how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. This can be achieved through understanding and practicing the set of behaviors and skills listed below in sequential order to achieve enlightenment:
- How to be in the external world (Yamas)
- How to be in the internal world (Niyamas)
- Exercise/yoga poses (Asana)
- Breathwork (Pranayama)
- Withdrawal of the senses (Pratyahara)
- Concentration (Dharana)
- Meditation (Dyana)
- Inner peace (Samadhi)