What is Yoga?

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means yoke (to unite or join). 

The practice of Yoga originated in India over 3000 years ago and is a practice intended to unite the body, mind and soul. So it follows that, although most people mean asana (Yoga exercises or the physical practice of Yoga postures or poses) when they refer to Yoga, Yoga itself must be more than asana. In fact Yoga is comprised of eight limbs, as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and a well-rounded Yoga practice encompasses elements of all the limbs.

Asana is the 3rd of the first 4 limbs, yama, niyama, asana, and pranayama, which focus on personal and community values and physical development, while the remaining 4 limbs, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi focus on mental and spiritual growth. When practiced together the eight limbs are a holistic process.

Yoga is not a religion – it is a science grounded in philosophy intended to facilitate self-realization. However, common Yoga practices such as meditation, kirtan (call and response chanting) and karma yoga (selfless service) are recognizable elements of all the major religions and far from undermining a particular religious conviction, the practice of Yoga can support and enhance it.

Melton Yoga welcomes students of all denominations, beliefs and lifestyles, all we ask is that you come with an open mind and heart, and that you leave fear and judgment at the door.