Yoga as a lifestyle and state of mind

By Bridget Bonner, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT)

There are many ways to describe yoga and its meaning. When practitioners are asked what their own definition is, each would have a different answer, and surprisingly each would be correct.

Following are some of my own personal views, which I should mention actually grow and morph as I continue to study and practice this 5,000-year old practice.

The word “Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which translates to: unite, join and connect. This applies to uniting, joining and connecting the mind, body, breath and spirit. It is about learning to find our own true self, learning to quiet the mind, calm the body, find peace and serenity, gratitude, joy and countless more positive effects.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga involves moving fluidly through the poses while breathing with deep awareness in a moving meditation. Included are poses to improve balance in both static and moving asanas along with poses to improve flexibility to allow fluid and pain-free movement in our daily activities. We improve joint mobility and range of motion in this Vinyasa Flow practice. As we find our flow and move through poses, our heart rate elevates improving our cardiovascular fitness. We deepen our breath improving pulmonary and vascular health. We flush our cells cleansing, energizing and awakening. Our self-confidence, outlook and mood may improve with our mindful yoga practice.

When we improve the physical aspects in our bodies including balance, flexibility, endurance and strength, we influence our lives in the same manner. We begin making better choices in creating balance including a healthy, balanced choice of food, rest, companionship and time alone. As our flexibility improves we find that we become more flexible by adapting to and accepting changes in our lives more readily.

In building our endurance as we challenge our bodies with the physical aspect of flowing through our poses, elevating our heart rate and building our strength, we find that we meet life’s challenges with greater strength and fortitude.

We bring deep awareness to our posture in sitting, standing, walking and moving. Our yoga practice teaches us to lift and lengthen our bodies while our feet are grounded to the earth, which is the element for our first Chakra, Muladara. We actually feel taller and enjoy a fluid movement as we improve our posture, deepening our own awareness and becoming enlightened in the process.

Bridget is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) and is passionate about health and wellness.

Currently Bridget’s yoga practices include Vinyasa Flow and Restorative Yoga, which are suitable for all levels from beginner to those more experienced. These practices are currently at SaddleBrooke Ranch La Hacienda Club and at SaddleBrooke HOA One Fitness Center. Please refer to the monthly schedule for updates to time and locations. Bridget can be reached at [email protected].