What is authentic yoga?
by Delight Yoga
Delight Yoga offers authentic yoga. But what does this mean?
The origin of yoga is rooted in the soil of the Indus Valley beneath the Himalayan Mountains. Its tradition is so ancient, that it goes back 5000 years. In Sanskrit, Yoga literally means 'union'. According to the ancient text of yoga, the intention of the yoga practice is the 'union' of body and mind to connect to your true self and find inner peace. This can be done by many traditional forms of yoga, like chanting, breathing, physical movement and meditating.
At Delight Yoga, we are dedicated to honouring and sharing the roots of the yoga tradition with our students. That's why we incorporate many traditional forms of yoga in our classes to connect to your true self and find inner peace. Here are 5 traditional elements that you will find in almost every yoga class at Delight.
Why do we chant Om at the beginning and end of a yoga class? With the roots in Hinduism, it's both a sound and a symbol rich in meaning and depth. The syllable Om is composed of three sounds A - U - M. In the Hindu tradition 'A' represents creation, 'U' represents preservation, and 'M' represents liberation. Everything around us is vibration. The sound Om, when chanted, is seen as the vibration and basic sound of the universe. By chanting it, we are acknowledging our connection to nature and all other living beings.
Sometimes a yoga teacher will ask you to set an intention at the beginning of a yoga class. Why? The Sanskrit word of Intention is Sankalpa. 'Kalpa' means vow, and 'San' means the highest truth. So an intention is a promise that we make to support our true Self. Setting an intention in your yoga practice is simply bringing your attention to the quality that you want to carry with you on and off the mat. That quality could be gratitude, strength, peace, love, focus, balance etc. - whatever you want to cultivate in your life.
"If you can breathe, you can do yoga" Krishnamacharya used to say. The breath gives you a tool to control your body, mind and emotions. If you stop breathing, you will die, and if you breathe deep, you will feel alive! It is that simple. Everybody can understand it. And we all know it deep down: when we’re stressed out, we hold our breath. By focussing on and controlling our breath during the yoga class, we release blockages and tension in our body and mind, opening our hearts to find peace.
At the end of our yoga practice, we come into Savasana (corpse pose). During this final resting pose, the focus is placed on the breath and the release of tension from the body. This is a very important pose because it allows us to absorb the benefits of our practice as it resets the body temperature, calms the central nervous system and brings the breath back to normal. It enables us to bring yoga from asana into self-awareness through meditation. This will still the body and mind to connect to our true self.
Namaste, you hear the word in almost every yoga class, but what does it mean? 'Nama' means bow, 'as' means I, and 'te' means you. Therefore, namaste means "I bow to you." In the Hindu tradition, it is a greeting of respect and gratitude, often accompanied by the gesture of Añjali Mudrā (prayer position of the hands in front of the heart). When we bow down, we essentially recognise the light within all of us. With Namaste, we offer our unconditional respect, knowing that ultimately we are all equal.
This content is written or curated by someone from within the Delight Yoga community.