Studying Yoga

Immerse yourself in the ancient art of self care

I didn't fully understand the deep spiritual nature behind yoga practice until the conclusion of my first yoga lesson, when my instructor pressed her hands together at her heart chakra with her fingertips pointed upwards and said, "Namaste."

Being a writer and a naturally curious individual, I looked up the meaning of this beautiful word the very next day.

After performing a search on the Internet, I discovered that yoga is an ancient Hindu art that's meant to help one achieve a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. Yoga is thought to be the union of the human soul with the Ultimate Being, or the absolute originator and ruler of the universe.

The word "Namaste" is a traditional Indian greeting that roughly translates to "the Divine spark" in all of Mother Earth's creatures. In yoga practice the word Namaste typically marks the end of yoga class and is exchanged as a deep showing of respect by the instructor to the students and vice versa. The word "Nama" translates literally to "bow", the word "as" means "I" and the word "te" means "you". Therefore, Namaste literally means, "I bow to you" or "I bow to the divine in you."

The interesting thing about a yoga education is that, like life, it's a never-ending cycle. You might start your yoga journey as a beginner yoga student at your local gym or community center. The possibilities are endless, as from there you may begin to practice yoga on a daily basis, or you may explore a specific branch of yoga, you may even become a yoga instructor. Regardless of your yoga path, as you learn you will be placed on the continual cycle of yoga teacher and student. For me then, the word Namaste is an expression of the eternal respect that comes from learning, imparting that wisdom on others and then continuing to learn.

Your yoga education can begin at any age, at any weight, at any stage in life and at almost any physical and mental condition. Yoga classes range from the gentle, fluid movements and breathing of Vinyasa yoga; to the high-intensity, strenuous and hot movements of Bikram yoga. There is a yoga class and a yoga teacher for every individual, be it group yoga, private instruction or even a yoga video.

Yoga Insight hopes to set you on the right yoga path. In addition to information on the history of yoga, the different styles of yoga, our yoga glossary, yoga retreats, different yoga equipment and props and yoga attire, Yoga Insight features a bookstore, magazine rack, video store and yoga music store to help you create your idyllic yoga studio in the sanctuary of your own home.

Remember, it's said that the flexible are most blessed, for they shall never be bent out of shape. At Yoga Insight we encourage you to experience the spirituality and happiness that you've learned in yoga class into your every day life.

Namaste,

Editor, Yoga Insight