What is Yoga and What Are The Benefits?

Hatha yoga is the yoga tradition most familiar to Western culture. The term is derived from the Sanskrit ha, meaning “sun,” and tha, meaning “moon,” which together means to “yoke or yuj.” The practice aims to unite the active and receptive qualities within oneself, creating a balance of equilibrium in oneself and with others through the use of physical alignment and yoga breathing.

  • Increase Flexibility
  • Increase Strength
  • Improve Balance
  • Reduce Stress
  • Improve Focus
  • Relieve Depression
  • Improve Breathing
  • Promote Sleep Quality
  • Reduce Chronic Pain
  • Assists Weight Loss
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Boosts Endurance
  • Aids Muscle Recovery
  • Boosts Self Esteem
  • Induces Relaxation Resp
  • Creates Optimistic Outlook

The primary elements of the Western practice are yoga poses (asanas) and breath control; however, there are six other elements, or “limbs,” involved in the full enjoyment of the discipline.

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The “eight limbs” of Hatha yoga are:

  • Yama – Ethical behavior
  • Niyama – Spiritual practice
  • Asana – Physical poses
  • Pranayama – Breath control
  • Pratyahara – Turning our senses away from outside influence
  • Dharana – Concentration
  • Dhyana – Meditation
  • Samadhi – The ultimate state of consciousness and the goal of Hatha yoga


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