Yoga is an ancient science that allows us to explore the physical, mental and emotional aspects of our individual selves. It can enable us to discover the potential within each one of us. Yoga helps to bring our focus inwards. It creates a mental quietness that allows us to live a more balanced, peaceful and contented life.
Practicing yoga makes us more aware of our breathing. By developing control of our breath (pranayama) we can rejuvenate our body, release our tensions and balance our emotions. When our breath is smooth, it relaxes and steadies the nerves, improves concentration and brings a lightness to the body and mind. Synchronising the movement of the body with the breath transforms the practice into a moving meditation and helps to keep us in the present moment creating a clear and calm mind.
The physical practice of yoga allows one to focus their attention, clear their mind and work with their breath to move through the intensity of the practice. Regular practice of yoga postures (asana) will help bring about increased strength, flexibility and stamina.
Yoga goes beyond a purely physical practice though. It allows a person to gain inner clarity and a quiet mind which can then extend off the mat and into the rest of one's life. Yoga is about working slowly with the breath without comparison to others or to oneself. It is an individual and personal practice where each day is different and unique.
'Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind' - Yogaschitta vrtti nirodhah - Yoga Sutra 2