What is yoga?

At once a physical, emotional and a spiritual pursuit, yoga is rooted in the belief that the body and the breath are intimately connected with the mind. Indeed, in the ancient Sanskrit language from which it was born, the word yoga means union—and, though it takes many forms around the world, each yoga practice is built upon this fundamental foundation of connection. The practice of yoga, then, is a kind of “moving meditation”  designed to help us learn to use the simple act of breathing to quiet our minds, open our bodies and nourish our spirits. Each yoga “pose,” or posture, helps us target the constrictions in our bodies and begin a delicious opening process that fosters greater physical flexibility as well as heightened intellectual acuity and deeper spiritual tranquility. Postures are linked together into specific sequences that focus and deepen our potential for opening. Throughout the thousands of years that people have been practicing yoga, these sequences have been modified and refined to address incredibly specific needs. The result? From beginners to experts, for the runner with tight hamstrings and the executive with chronic back pain, for the serious and the lighthearted—there’s a yoga practice for everyone.