Yoga is an ancient and beautiful way to harmonise body, heart and mind. It developed in India with orgins going back about 5,000 years. The word Yoga means union; it is related to the old English “yoke”.
Traditionally the goal of Yoga is the union with the Absolute, known as Brahman, or with Atman, the true self. These days the focus is often on the more down-to-earth benefits of Yoga, including improved physical fitness, mental clarity and stress control. The beauty of Yoga is its versatility, allowing practitioners to focus on the spiritual, physical or psychological side, or a combination of all three.
Many types of Yoga have developed through the years; basically there are four paths: Jnana, the path of knowledge or wisdom; Bhakti, the path of devotion; Raja, the path of self-control and Karma, the path of action.
In India the most followed path is that of Bhakti (devotion), while in the West the most successful is Hatha Yoga, which includes posture and breathing, and is part of Raja Yoga (self-control).
Within Hata Yoga there are many styles (i.e. Iyengar, Astanga, Integral, Kripalu, etc.), all of them share a common lineage back to Patanjali?s Yoga Sutras, a text outlining the basic philosophy and practices of classical Yoga, dating back between the II century B.C. and the I century A.D.
Everybody can practise yoga because it is a very gentle and gradual discipline. If you want, you can completely change your life (because it’s, above all, a way of life), or you can just simply make it better. There are a lot of positions, and a good teacher will tell you which is best for your emotional situation and physical condition. There is Yoga for children, for old people and for pregnant women.
Remember that to understand if the master is good or not, just try to understand his style of life.
Here are a lot of good places to practise yoga in Rome;
– Accademia Yoga, via XX Settembre, 58/a
– Accademia Tara-Jivan Mukta, Via Michele di Lando 96
– Corsi della Universit? Popolare UPTER, info tel. 066920431, www.upter.it
Normally, yoga is once a week for 2 hours (be suspicious if the lesson is shorter) and it costs 30/40 Euro monthly.
Keep in mind: “The world has an order, a power and a richness which can teach you to live your life with conscience, to be gentle to other people and love yourself” (Chogyam Trungpa da “Shambala, fighter’s sacred way”).
For more info on Yoga visit www.yogasite.com
by Sofia Mannozzi
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