The Sanskrit word Yoga योग means to yoke/harness/join, pointing to the ultimate union with God/consciousness/Self. The yoga practice, which originated in ancient India, entails physical, mental and spiritual practices. One of the most detailed and thorough expositions on the subject is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which defines yoga as “the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”.
As yoga travelled to the West the accessible, adaptable and beneficial physical practice was put in the foreground making it one of the most popular fitness routines for people of all ages. However, as any serious yoga practitioner will know from their own experience, the yoga practice almost inevitably has beneficial effects on mind and spirit as well.
Across all spiritual traditions it has been known for thousands of years: Take a deep breath and relax!
Meditation is a practice for the mind that allows us to hone our perception, clear our awareness and open our heart to fully experience this moment. Research shows that regular meditation fosters physical and emotional health and wellbeing. It strengthens the immune system, helps reduce stress and anxiety, stimulates attention and focus, enhances creativity, cultivates compassion, improves productivity and increases performance to mention but a few benefits.
Mindfulness, in a simple way, can be described as knowing that you are doing what you are doing when you are doing it.
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