Yoga Basics

FIT Staff
Mar 10, 2013

What is yoga? There are Bikram sequences, pranayama, vinyasa flows, meditation, deep yin holds, Hatha basics- the list can go on and on. This is what draws me to yoga- the variety in practice it can offer. Although this diversity of options can be overwhelming when embarking on a new path, the important action is to begin. Let's start with the basics.

The word yoga is derived from an ancient Sanskrit word meaning 'yoke' or 'union', among other things. My teacher, Bhumi describes yoga as the science of discovering yourself. It is how we get to know our body and in turn our mind and soul. Yoga is a 6,000 + year old system for physical, personal, and spiritual growth. Physical, personal and spiritual? Sounds intense- at least that was how I felt. Fear not, your mind and body only digest what your soul can handle. Trust the process.

There are six main paths of yoga- Hatha, Karma, Mantra, Bhakti, Jnana, and Raja (Click HERE for definitions). We will explore each one as the weeks go on but first let's start the conversation with our bodies. Hatha Yoga is the physical practice of asanas, or poses. Ha' means sun and 'tha' means moon. This practice is often described as a joining or union (yoga) of opposites (sun and moon). This physical practice is meant to purify the body and bring awareness.

Hatha Yoga is how I began the conversation with my body. I did not worry about the other paths of yoga. I began with the physical asanas. This method allows me to explore what my body needs. There are so many poses to choose from and each one has its own unique benefits- physically, emotionally, and spiritually! Through journaling, I find that my body literally tells me what I need by the asanas it gravitates toward. Our body is vital to our survival- it is our only vehicle to experience this world. We must not only take care of it, we must know it!

Begin the conversation with yourself. Get to know who you are, not just who you want to be. Check out a yoga class, get dressed up and take yourself out to dinner, or go for a walk in the woods. However you choose to communicate, the important thing is to begin.

Upcoming Events (Click on the event to register)

Tuesday, March 12: Andy Douglas, The Curve of the World: Into the Spiritual Heart of Yoga. Converging Paths Meditation Center, 7pm

Tuesdays- Meditation- Converging Paths Meditation Center, 7-8:15p (

Wednesdays in March- Park Yoga- The Enchanted Cottage, East Sandusky Bay MetroPark, 5:30-6:30pm. Bring a mat or blanket- no experience necessary!

Fridays- Morning Yoga- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 9am

Saturday, March 16: Park PALS- Osborn MetroPark, 10am. Science based program for 3-6 year olds. Registration required!

Saturday, March 16: How Animals Eat- Osborn MetroPark, 12pm. Come feed the snakes, salamanders, toads, and frog with me! Registration appreciated!

Friday, March 22: The Search for Salamanders- Edison Woods MetroPark, 6pm

Tuesday, March 26: Full Moon Night Hike- James McBride Arboretum, 7:30pm