The practice of Yoga was developed in ancient India around 3000-1800 BCE. The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to bind/ "union".
Yoga is a sensible approach to mental and physical health that embodies more than poses and movements. It teaches us about and how to become one with our physical, mental, spiritual, psychic and transcendental selves.
Yoga has eight limbs - "guidelines for conscious living" to help us attain oneness and enlightenment: the yamas (social and ethical standards), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breath control and exercises), pratyahara (sense control/withdrawal), dharana (practicing concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (enlightenment).
As we practice Yoga and explore these eight limbs, we gain more control of our physical and metal bodies (we become more aware/woke), our behavior and perception of the outer world changes; we then become more capable of focusing on our inner selves until we attain samadhi/enlightenment.
Who can practice Yoga?
Yoga is for everyone and for all body types - It is the ideal cross-training activity for all of life's ups and downs. It can help the body heal from injury, and you will learn how to manage safe and effective workouts while strengthening your whole body.
Yoga is for all fitness levels (beginner, intermediate and expert). Lessons can be gentle, challenging or intense; it all depends on your current capabilities, the pace that you choose and the intention of class.
Yoga will improve your current ability to focus (till you can without distraction), control of the senses, breathing, posture, the core, overall balance - both internally and externally. Meaning your mind will become more flexible as well. You will be able to cope better with your minds flucuating thoughts and emotions.
Modifications are available for the poses that the body is not prepared or ready to perform comfortably. No need to worry about your current fitness level or capabilities - your endurance and range of motion will increase naturally once you start practicing consistently :)
Our Yoga styles
There are many styles and forms of Yoga. At African Zest you can explore and experience the following:
Ashtanga yoga - (guided) the aim of the series is to to purify the body and improve internal focus. The postures in the series are practiced in the same order each time. (*There are eight spiritual practices/"eight-limbs of yoga" as outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras that help lead to samadhi/enlightment/ state of oneness with the universe.)
Mysore style Ashtanga Yoga - (self lead) each student practices what they know in the Ashtanga Yoga sequence series, at their own pace. The teacher instructions students one-on-one within the group class setting.
Hatha Vinyasa/flow - the aim of this practice is to balance our nadis/energy channels which include the left & right hemispheres of the brain. *The typical class will include a combination of body postures, chanting, breath-work and meditation. *Vinyasa - means linking breath to movement in continuous dance-like movements/flow
Thai-Yoga massage (gentle yoga with Thai massage - all in one class)
Pranayama/Breathwork and Meditation - breathing exercises/breath control and exercises to help with concentration - which will help the mind prepare for meditation
Yoga and wine - gentle yoga with a few sips of wine here & there... *acidic Yogi time