Updated: Jan 12, 2020
Yoga is a form of therapy for your body and mind, through movement and breath work. The word Yoga translates from Sanskrit as 'yoke' and means 'union', for the body and mind. It includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. Rosen says, “Yoga doesn’t create a union, it reveals that it’s been there all along.” The idea being that we unite and connect with our authentic self - physically and emotionally. To come back to our heart centre and core. So we can love ourselves and others.
Self love is a word that is thrown around a lot but if you analyse the meaning behind the phrase, it represents self worth and acceptance. That we don't need to be more, we are perfect the way we are. Why is this important? In today's society we are constantly being told, either consciously or subconsciously that we are not enough. The idea of not being enough makes us think that 1) we need to change 2) we need more. We have been brain washed to consume more and look a certain way - we are living in a society that profits from our insecurities. We are also always planning, scheduling and thinking ahead into the future which means we find little time to feel alive now.
Yoga therefore is a sense of therapy, is allows us to feel secure being our authentic self by connecting with our body and mind, through breath and movement. There is the the physical element to yoga but also the psychological. Which enables us to leave outside impressions, judgement and insecurities behind.
'So Hum' is often used in meditation, which means 'I am'. This represents, the idea of being alive, here and now! Once we focus on 1) being present in the here and now 2) the feeling of being alive. We create a feeling of relaxation, acceptance, gratitude and hope. Basically creating positive neurons in our body.
Pranayama means life force or oxygen which moves through our body giving us life. This is why breathe work is practised in yoga, when we breathe deeply it improves blood flow, stimulates lymphatic system, detoxifies the body and increases oxygen in our blood which goes to our brain, making us feel more awake and alive. When you breathe deeply, the body releases endorphins, which are the feel good hormones and a natural pain killer created by the body itself.
Breathing can also benefit your posture, when you breathe deeply, you will notice how your body starts to straighten up during the process. When you fill your lungs with air, this automatically encourages you to straighten up your spine. When your posture is good and you have lengthened up through your natural spine, you will start to feel 1) awake 2) strong 3) sense of self worth and connection with your body.
So yoga is a form of therapy because it is a treatment, allowing us to connect with ourselves which creates a sense of self worth and security. As our body and mind feel good, we no longer feel threaten by the outside world, we have a sense of self awareness which creates self esteem. Reminding us how good it feels to be alive.