For those of you who may not guessed already, this post has been composed by Jen not Swanny. :) Not being blog-savvy myself but inspired to share the knowledge, grace and inspiation Yoga has brought to my life, Swanny has offered me room on his blog. My aim is to have a weekly post in which I might share tidbits of yoga with "My Life With Dogs" readers.
YOGA--The pracitce of yoga is thousands of years old with roots in India, where the practice was passed from teacher (guru) to student orally and through physical demonstration and practice. The word Yoga comes from sanskrit and is translated to mean "to yoke", "to bind" or "union." Union of the breath and the body through the physical practice of postures is typically what "yoga" means to people today, although many other applications of this translation may be considered. Traditional yoga is thought to have been born when an Indian sage, Patanjali, combined information into a text called "The Yoga Sutras." The Yoga Sutras described an eight-limbed path, the pursuit and practice of which are thought to lead an individual to an enlightened state of being. According to the Sutras, the third limb of the path is asana, or the practice of physical postures. Asana practice is designed to build strength and stamina, tone and lengthen the muscles and purify the body and mind. That being said, let me share an asana with you:
Virabhadrasana II or Warrior II Pose
My favorite asana (pose), which helps strengthen while stretching the legs and hips, it stimulates the abdominal organs, stretches and opens the hips and shoulders, and builds confidence and stamina. This pose to me embodies the balance yoga encourages between effort and surrender in our practice. A firey pose that invigorates your body, breath and practice. Try holding it for 5-10 breaths and don't forget to do each side!