What is yoga?

The sanskrit word 'yoga' is usually translated as 'union' and refers to a vast spectrum of practices which broadly share themes of self-enquiry, transcendence and liberation. Yoga originates in the Indian subcontinent where it has been practised in one shape or form since time immemorial. The 2nd century Yoga Sutra of Patanjali identifies yoga as the stilling of the fluctuating mind and the resultant state of pure awareness or 'Samadhi.' The later tradition of Hatha yoga and its iconic 'asana' - postures, is also a foundation for the experience of Samadhi. It is a practical method of yoga in which the body is utilised as a tool and gateway to liberation.

Postures, purification techniques and breathing exercises are some of the techniques employed. Hatha yoga enables the body to become strong and flexible and the mind to become steady and clear. At Yoga Torquay we honour and respect the Indian origins of yoga. We believe that yoga, which has great potential as a way of conditioning the body, is much more than a physical workout and is ultimately a spiritual practice in which mental clarity and freedom are available through practice and self enquiry.

An introduction to yoga

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