Why Yoga? by Sue Fuller

Sue Fuller Why YogaYoga has been practised for over three thousand years. It has survived for this long for a reason.

Beginners are drawn to yoga for many reasons. Each yoga practitioner has their own set of goals and objectives that they hope to reach through their yoga practice, these vary greatly between yoga students. 

Yoga has the ability to subtly remove old habits and allow new more favourable ones to form. Yoga is an incredible tool.  Anyone can practice yoga. 

Yoga teaches skills and techniques that can be drawn on and incorporated into everyday life. Yoga has the ability to enhance every aspect of our being.  As there are so many postures and techniques being flexible is not a requirement for joining a yoga class.

Here’s a little background information about yoga explaining why early practitioners were drawn to the ancient science.

Yoga has been practiced for at least three thousand years.  The word yoga means union.  It is derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj which means to join. 

Sanskrit is the ancient Indian language that was spoken during the Vedic times.

The Vedic civilisation lived along the banks of the Saraswati River (now dry) between 4500BC and 1800 BC. 

Some of the first written evidence discovered about Yoga is from this Vedic time period.  It is still followed and studied today. 

The Vedic civilisation regarded yoga as a science.  It is believed by early practitioners that the science of yoga could provide all of the techniques required to help practitioners find unity between the individual consciousness and the universal consciousness. This state is regarded as enlightenment.   For the ancient practitioners achieving an enlightened state was the ultimate goal. 

It was reaching this state that provided early practitioners with the freedom or liberation that they hoped to acheive.  However, this state could only be reached if both body and mind were of optimum levels of health, free from disease, injuries and toxins.  The mind needed to be clear, focussed and free from the ego.  Yoga practices could help these early practitioners reach these optimum levels of health.

Although today yoga can be regarded by some as a physical form of exercise, it is of course so much more.  Many people are first drawn to yoga because of the physical elements, however quite often yoga filters in to your life and lifestyles over time change with both yoga students and teachers adopting positive and healthy choices.

As yoga brings so many benefits it is not surprising that more and more people are making yoga a part of their daily routine.

Sue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher and writer.  She has written three training courses for The British School of Yoga and is a regular columnist for Natural Health and the Yoga Magazine.  Sue is also the creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes.  Yoga 2 Hear have a range of over 60 different classes for all levels and requirements.  Audio Yoga classes allow you to practice yoga at a time and place that suits you without any visual distractions.