What is Yoga?

 

Yoga Australia ~

 

‘There are many different ideas related to Yoga, where it comes from, what it is all about, and how to practice a range of techniques. Generally, it is recognised as an ancient system of philosophies, principles and practices derived from the Vedic tradition of India and the Himalayas, more than 2500 years ago. It is a system that recognises the multi-dimensional nature of the human person, and primarily relates to the nature and workings of the mind, based on experiential practice and self-enquiry.

In Yoga, the body, breath and mind are seen as a union of these multi-dimensional aspects of each and every human being. The system and various techniques of Yoga cultivate the experience of that union, leading to greater integration of being, internal peacefulness, and clarity of the mind. It is a system that is designed to cultivate health and happiness, and a greater sense of self-awareness and higher consciousness.

Yoga cultivates health and wellbeing (physical, emotional, mental and social) through the regular practice of a range of many different techniques, including postures and movement, breath awareness and breathing exercises, relaxation and concentration, self-inquiry and meditation.

Yoga is an approach to life that values appropriate effort, based on balance and harmony, within each person and with each other.

Research into the benefits of yoga
Quality research is important for any field of well-being, health-care and personal development. It could be argued that the practice of yoga has undergone hundreds of years of research through the trialling of the ancient practitioners, who in turn observed the effects upon their students.

However in our contemporary context, we expect that protocols, interventions and other activities that form part of our well-being or health-care plan can ‘stand the test’ of our contemporary research methods.

In recent years there have been a growing number of well designed studies into the health benefits of yoga. These show that the practice of yoga is safe, useful and very cost effective for a wide range of conditions and life-stages.’

* Extract from Yoga Australia  website

 

Yoga Australia is a governing body that provides guidelines, code of conduct and ethics for Yoga Teachers.