Calm your mind, hone your body.
As we sat down with Marleni – both a yoga teacher and student for life – we were mesmerized by her positive energy and passion for the practice of yoga. She kept on reciting quotes from the book “Light on Yoga” by B.K.S. Iyengar, telling us it was her yoga bible.
“The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning to bind, join, attach and yoke, to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use and apply. It means the discipline of the intellect, the mind and the emotions, and the will. A poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all aspects evenly.”
Modern yoga derives from the ancient 6,000-year-old practice of Hatha yoga in India. Hatha is the mother of yoga and it focuses on the structure of alignment in the body parts and feeling the connection of the body and the soul. All other types of yoga fall under it, including vinyasa, ashtanga, bikram and restorative yoga.
Benefits of Yoga
- Improves memory and focus.
- Increases flexibility.
- Increases muscle strength and tone.
- Improves respiration and energy.
- Increases and maintains healthy metabolism.
- Possible weight loss.
- Reduces levels of stress, anxiety and
- Improves circulatory health.
- Protects from sport related injury.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
- Stretches the lower back.
- Massages and tones the abdominal organs.
- Stimulates digestion.
Cow Pose (Bitilasana) & Cat pose (Marjaryasana)
- Both poses together warm the body.
- Bring flexibility to the spine.
- Stretch the back, torso and neck.
- Stimulate and strengthen the abdominal organs.
- Open the chest, encouraging the breath to become slow and deep.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Energizes the body.
- Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands.
- Strengthens the arms and legs.
Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)
- Stretches legs and arms.
- Opens heart and chest area.
- Opens and aligns hips.
Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)
- Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, groins.
- Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back.
- Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles.
Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)
- Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles.
- Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Strengthens knees and thighs while stretches hips, hamstrings, calves (it is safer to practice it with slightly bent knees).
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
- Improves posture.
- Strengthens thighs, knees and ankles.
- Tones abdomen and buttocks.