Yoga – Is it the union of body, mind and soul or the way to a more balanced way lifestyle perspective?
This morning I decided to start the week with a Yoga morning and I did. Off to the cosy little studio at 101 Hawthorn Road in Caulfield. About to pound up the stairs, I met an older lady coming down. Apparently she was the only one to turn up this morning because of school holidays and I thought,(rather selfishly I must admit) ‘oh no, there goes my yoga hit for the beginning of the week.’
Luckily Michelle our teacher who was also deciding to go home, thought ok two students let’s have the lesson and she did. Thank you Michelle, my week has gotten off to a good start. She is very good value because she is sensitive when she has to be, silent when it is called for and at times chatty and active in a very nice friendly, but put you at your ease manner.
I used to do Yoga. Many years ago with an Iyengar Yoga teacher who was tough. Very tough, but she got results and it was what I needed more than twenty years ago to move me out of my inertia. My body had done a few years of Tai Chi previously at some stage in the eighties, but it needed Iyengar Yoga to kick start it into action.
Why is YOGA GOOD for you? Well. Let’s find out.
At first, I wanted to write some lengthy discourse which appears learned, about the origins of Yoga and be a regular blah blah blah but finally decided ‘Nah. I am just going to write about what Yoga does for me personally.’
Yoga does the following for me:
1. It de-stresses me. It allows me to think freely and to focus. After a Yoga class if you are in my face, I can just go, ‘CHIILLLLLLL, darlin’!’ I really do not care that everyone around me is frothing and frantic. I am just busy being.... It is fantastic for teachers and those in high stress jobs.
2. It eases out those tired tight muscles and streeeeettttccccchhhesss them. It is amazing what stretches can do for your state of mind. If you are on a computer more than three hours a day, then Yoga can do a lot for you because you can stretch those shoulders and upper back as well as the neck. You also strengthen your stomach muscles and by default your lower back is strengthened.
3. It makes you stronger mentally and physically. It centres you.
4. It improves the digestion because it does work on massaging muscles which affect organs of your body. Your heart, lungs and digestive system. You work your diaphragm through utilising your breath. Breathing is very important and in life in general.
5. Ladies who have had babies or who are having babies, it is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby in utero. The pelvic floor muscles will thank you. I had my child at 49 and I had a C section. I am finally getting it together and feel better. No incontinence and helps with prolapsed uterus, which are some of the problems that can arise from multiple births or births at an older age. J Michelle has run post natal and prenatal classes. At present she is doing ah hour stretch and relax class on Thursdays as well as the Yoga + Pilates classes on Mondays, 9.30 – 11am, Wednesdays 9.00 – 10.30am, Fridays 9.30 - 11am and 12 – 1.30pm.
6. It increases your flexibility and makes you feel younger and fitter.
7. Relaxation at the end of each class is the high point of a yoga workout. You actually go to sleep at times and wake deeply refreshed.
Is Yoga Jewish? Well, no it is not as far as I know and have researched. It is Indian in origin. It is an approach to life and a perspective on life that is thousands of years old. The word Yoga has been translated from the Sanskrit to mean ‘yoke’ and more commonly ‘union’ in English but these are probably loose translations of the actual meaning. It is more than just exercises and stretches. It is about connecting your body and mind in a very powerful way. You can bring a Jewish essence or pattern of thought or approach into Yoga. I believe Rabbi Laibl Wolf did have Jewish Yoga at Spiritgrow. Maybe he still has. What I do know is that Yoga is good for you and you can do it with a Jewish approach. I was reflecting on some of the Hebrew letters and thinking that some of them could be viewed as Yogic poses or asanas. For example, the tad asana mountain pose or standing pose is like a vav to start with and then stetches into a nun sofit (end Nun Letter). Anyway I will not bore you with too much detail. You do have fingers and a computer if you are reading this and you know where to find google. Here is a chart on some poses and you can have fun matching poses to Hebrew letters if you like and holding the pose and meditating on a letter.
So when you are ready to make a radical change in the way you think and want to boost your health, head on down to a class at 102 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North or give Michelle a ring on 0403 939 666 to see when she can book you into a class. You will not regret it.
Samach or Mem sofit???
Bet you can't find the nun or the chof or gimmel?