Yoga is more than just a physical practice. It is a guide to life that according to Patanjali includes 8 "limbs" or principles to live by which have to do with truthful communications, non-violence, cleanliness of the body (i.e. healthy nutrition), thoughts (i.e. peaceful and positive thoughts) and the spirit (desire not to cause harm to others) .
The limbs of yoga also instruct us on internal practices such as concentration, meditation and striving for oneness.
The practice of yoga is ancient as it dates back to the HIndu Vedas and Upanishads that are sacred texts written 2600-3600 years ago. They are said to contain the wisdom of the world and secrets to life itself. It is from these texts that we can find the first references to Yoga.
Despite its' ancient orgin, the practice of Yoga is more alive now than ever before. According to a 2016 study "Yoga in America", conducted by The Yoga Alliance, 36 million Americans practice Yoga on a regular basis. People in this study reported decreased levels of stress and improved mental clarity as a result of yoga.
There is an abundance of studies that have scientifically proven the benefits of this ancient practice. If you would like to find out more about these studies, visiting The Yoga Alliance's "Yoga Research" section is a great start.
Here is a series of short videos you can watch at your leisure at home. Each video focuses on a specific topic ranging from how to feel grounded to exploring making choices and having control. I hope you enjoy them!
I am a licensed psychotherapist (LCSW) as well as a certified yoga teacher (RYT-200).
Serendipitously, Yoga came to my life in 2007 after a severe car accident resulted in serious back injuries.
I thought I would never run again or do any physical exercise that was a big part of my life. It took two long and painful years to fully recovery from the injuries.
The moment I could go for my first run, was a pivotal point in my life: I ran with joy for myself but also for everyone who could not. A deep sense of gratitude filled my heart and I thanked the universe for bringing this "accident" into my life so I may gain the grace of knowledge from this experience: patience, forgiveness, kindness towards myself, appreciating the small things in life, finding peace in stillness, how to use pain as a teacher, how to ask for help.... and many more...
I credit my recovery to a regular yoga practice. Yoga was the only form of exercise that allowed me to gradually gain strength and rehabilitate my body. Through that process, also the mind was healed from its negative thoughts that did not serve me.
After having had such a profound personal experience with yoga, it became a big part of my life - it became part of me. The deeper I got into the practice, the more it benefitted me physically, mentally and spiritually.
Since becoming a certified yoga teacher in 2014, I have used yoga in my private psychotherapy practice to decrease stress responses as well as help people create a more authentic and meaningful relationship with themselves.
Yoga provides us tools to be in a calm and relaxed state of mind and body. It builds resources and resiliency to face life's challenges with resolve and tenacity.
Yoga can also help us begin to renegotiate and process traumas. Through specific, gentle, mindful movements, we can begin to listen and trust the wisdom of the body.
My goal as a yoga teacher is to gently guide my students beyond the physical experience of asanas to a deeper emotional connection and awareness that leads to improved sense of wellbeing and balance.
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