At Nalia we are all about self-care. We believe we are all capable of living a life that inspires ourselves and others, and allows us to glow from the inside out. We are big on practices that help us stay aligned and bring us peace. We believe that yoga is one of those important practices that can help improve our lives. On this special day we want to share our love for yoga.
June 21 is International Yoga Day
A day to celebrate the importance and benefits of yoga to our mind and body.
What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India thousands of years ago.
The word yoga: is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning to unite or join which symbolises the union of body and consciousness.
Yoga = ‘Unite’
The largest reason people practise yoga today is to help with their flexibility. However the breath work learnings are extremely beneficial to our health. With more information regularly being released about this, the yoga market is growing with people who want to get their health in top shape.
The eight limbs of yoga are:
YAMA – Restraints, moral disciplines or moral vows
NIYAMA – Positive duties or observances
ASANA – Posture
PRANAYAMA – Breathing Techniques
PRATYAHARA – Sense Withdrawal
DHARANA – Focused Concentration
DHYANA – Meditative Absorption
SAMADHI – Bliss or Enlightenment
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define ‘Asana’ as "[a position that] is steady and comfortable". Patanjali describes the ability to sit for extended periods as one of the eight limbs of his system. Asanas are also called yoga poses or yoga postures in English. Patanjali was a sage in India who is believed to have authored a number of Sanskrit works, the most prominent being the Yoga Sutras, a classical yoga text dating to 200 BCE to 200 CE 23 (Hindu America).
Today yoga is celebrated and practised all around the world in various forms, and continues to grow in popularity.
From the United Nations on the importance of International Yoga Day:
“The resolution notes “the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health.” In this regard, the World Health Organization has also urged its member states to help their citizens reduce physical inactivity, which is among the top ten leading causes of death worldwide, and a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.”
Our Favourite Yoga Quotations
"It's not about being good at something. It's about being good to yourself."
"Inhale the future, exhale the past."
"Letting go is the hardest 'asana'."
"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self." (The Bhagavad Gita)
“True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.” (Aadil Palkhivala)
"Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s about what you learn on the way down." (Jigar Gor)
"Yoga is the ultimate practice. It simultaneously stimulates our inner light and quiets our overactive minds. It is both energy and rest. Yin and Yang. We feel the burn and find our bliss.” (Elise Joan)
"Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.” (Amit Ray)
"If you seek peace, be still. If you seek wisdom, be silent. If you seek love, be yourself." (Becca Lee)
"Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Key Everyday Yoga Poses to start your day:
Cat – Cow, Chakravakasana
- Tips: keep the movement in the spine and avoid overextending the neck when gazing up to the sky. Keep arms straight to avoid movement from arms/elbows.
- Benefits: Improves circulation in the spinal discs, eases back pain especially when sitting for long periods of time, improves posture and balance as well as being a calming pose which is a stress reliever.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Tips: Keep your knees bent and even in a micro-bend to support your spine and back support, and let your heels feel heavy. If you have tight shoulders, allow your hand placement to be slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Benefits: Strengthens and stretches wrists, hamstrings and back, lengthens spine and improves both posture and whole body strength.
Pigeon Pose, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
- Tips: Use your arms and forearms to allow your head to rest without straining your neck. To get deeper in the pose, keep the shin you are using parallel with the front of the mat (the more parallel, the more open it will be).
- Benefits: Opens hip flexors, releasing a lot of energy and emotion for women. Increases general hip mobility and calms the mind.
Key Everyday Yoga Poses to end your day (coming soon in our next blog).
We hope that you enjoy your yoga practice today and if you are new to yoga, we hope this inspires you to take a new journey for yourself – and through yourself – with yoga.
Stay tuned for more yoga Nalia tips and benefits coming regularly on our blog.
Author: Tia Metaxas