Yoga is an ancient system or philosophy from India which seeks to create unity between body, mind and spirit through breath work, meditation and physical practice.
Yoga has evolved over the centuries taking on different physical focusses but always with the same aim – union. In modern times we tend to think of yoga as the physical practice (asana), however this is just one aspect of yoga, and probably the “newest” even though it dates back around 1000 years!
There are traditionally 8 Limbs of Yoga which come from the teachings of the Sage Patanjali. Those are Yamas (ethical rules), Niyamas (habits and observances), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath work), Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), Dharana (concentration) and Samadhi (oneness).
Within modern yoga classes we focus mainly on the asana practice, but these are informed by the other limbs of yoga. We work on connecting the breath to the postures, bring discipline and kindness to our mats, shutting down the eyes and turning inwards to create the union between our minds and bodies that lie at the heart of yoga.