One of my goals is to bring people to the beauty and benefits of yoga. I feel that one of the things that keep people away from yoga is misunderstandings and misconceptions as it relates to what yoga means and what it is. Here are a few myth busters to help you on your road to learning what yoga is all about.
Yoga is built on 8 limbs that together build what we know as yoga.
I am super passionate about teaching people about yoga outside of what they see on TV or in the gym. Yoga is often referred to as a workout, that is only one of the eight limbs of yoga called Asana. (Aa-Suh-Na) This means physical practice and all poses contain some form of this word in sanskrit. (the language that yoga poses are spoken in) In this section I will aim to give you more than asana so when you say "I do yoga," it's true.
What Are They Saying?!?!?
One of my pet peeves in life is "Don't say things you don't understand." Many times when taking classes people may say things because the instructor told them to or because everyone else in the class is saying it. By doing this you don't know if you are saying "Have a nice day" or "Yes I will buy the car." I once had a lady come up to me and ask "What is that thing you say at the end of yoga that means be calm." I knew she was talking about Namaste, however that is totally not what that word means! So here is a quick breakdown so you are not in class saying things you don't understand.
Namaste - This word acknowledges the connection between all of us. Some people precede it with "The light in me sees the light in you," however it can be anything: the teacher in me, the student in me, etc. Basically it says that as a practitioner of yoga you understand that there are things that connect us all; outside of race, religion, skill, knowledge, etc. I see you as my sister or brother and respect you because we are all connected.
OM (AUM) - Simply put, it represents the beginning and creation; whatever your religion you acknowledge there was something that created existence. In Christianity saying "In the beginning there was the word" then through the pronunciation showing the trinity of the Father, Son and the holy spirit. To say it correctly take a deep breath in, and then pronounce "aaah,”(father) “oooh,” (son) and “mmm.”(holy spirit) The sound starts in your belly, goes to your hearts and ends in your head. It awakens your entire body and allows you to begin again. It is calming and clarifying.
Shanti - If you attend a class where the teacher does a lot of chanting you may hear a lot of this word. It's in numerous chants, teachers saying in as a greeting and most people say it back because it sounds cool. Relax, you are not giving up your first born, you just saying "Peace". A common combination is OM Shanti Shanti Shanti.