Yoga is defined as “Union” and comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to attach, direct and concentrate one’s attention on, it is the true spiritual union of the individual soul with the universe.
Yoga was first mentioned in the Vedas, the earliest literary record of Indo-Aryan civilization, and the most sacred texts of India. They are the original scriptures of Hindu teachings, which contain spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of our life.
Yoga is one of the six philosophies (Darshana’s) of India and has been practiced for thousands of years. Its views vary from school to school and teacher to teacher but the core of yoga’s foundation was documented by Patanjali around 400BC in the Yoga Sutras. This text embodies 195 aphorisms (definitions, threads) that describe the inner workings of the mind and lays out the eight-limb path for controlling the fluctuations of the mind, and is the framework for our yoga practice.
Although Patanjali is considered to be the father of Yoga Sri Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) is considered the father of modern yoga. He came from a family of Vedic scholars and teachers and was introduced to yoga by his father at the age of five. He studied with Yogi Yogeshwara Rama Mohan for seven years before establishing his yoga ashram in Mysore. He is such an integral part of today’s yoga systems because he mentored; BKS Iyengar (Iyengar Yoga), Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga Yoga), TKV Desikachar (Vinyasa) who developed the major yoga practices found around the world today.
Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga, which emphasizes correct alignment and precision making use of props such as belts, blocks, and blankets, which enables students to do postures correctly, minimizing risk or injury and making the postures assessable to young and old. This practice builds strength, mobility, flexibility, and balance to the body, mind, and spirit.
I came to yoga with an injury and was lucky enough to be directed to a Certified Iyengar instructor who helped me specifically with my injury and helped me address weakness in my body that was causing imbalance. I very quickly found new strength, flexibility, and a sense of spiritual introspection. After studying Iyengar Yoga for a year I decided to enroll in the BKS Iyengar three-year teacher training program and have been a certified instructor since 2011, and have been fortunate to study with the Iyengar family on three occasions. I went on to be certified as a yoga therapist by the International Association of Yoga Therapist and as an Ayurvedic Yoga therapist by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.