All of the martial arts have their roots in yoga. There is no one so strong that they will be unable to benefit from it. Yoga is the oldest of the eastern energy management disciplines and the de facto parent of all the others. It remains, thousands of years later, an excellent foundation or addition to any form of physical or mental activity.
Yoga is Just Stretching:
Yoga is a very sophisticated energy management system. There are 16 kinds of yoga and all of them involve a lot more than just limbering up the body. The moves and postures we practice at the Yoga Center improve your flexibility but they will also increase your strength, improve your balance, increase mental acuity and help you to sleep better at night.
Yoga is also likely to lower your blood pressure and help you lose weight. It generally adds many healthy years to people's lives.
I don't have time:
If you take yoga you will have more time than you do now. You will get more done and you will enjoy life more.
Time, as they say, is relative. In one sense we all have just as many hours as everyone else. It turns out, however, that all of these hours are not of equal quality nor are they equally productive.
From a scientific point of view, the only practical way to evaluate your day and hours is not by how long they were but rather in terms of what you accomplished and the quality of those experiences.
It is not how long it takes that matters, it is what you got done!
Suppose you have three hours to invest in your life each day after work. What good are those hours if you are too tired to do much of anything or in too much pain to enjoy it in any event?
Any properly constituted fitness program (not just Yoga) is going to energize your system. The practical result of this is that you will get more done in less time; that you will be able to work and play longer. You will be able to stay up later because you will sleep better.
In general a good fitness program will add 10 to 12 hours of useful time to your week and years to your life.
Yoga has the added benefit of being an extremely low impact and highly efficient form of exercise. It gives more overall "bang" for your fitness "buck," that is for a much smaller investment of your time and effort you achieve much greater and more all inclusive results in both the short and long run.
Yoga is too hard for me:
You are capable of much more than you think.
Our classes are taught at different levels of difficulty and within each level alternate variations of the postures and moves are always given.
No one is expected to do more than they can or should do.
Increased body awareness and connection with higher levels of
personal confidence and satisfaction are routinely experienced by our yoga
students on a regular basis.
Yoga and Religion:
Yoga is an energy management system it is not a religion. The classes we teach at the Yoga Center are not intended as a substitute for your religion.
Some Christians are "put off" by the presence of what they view as being "heathen images" upon our walls.
This eastern iconography is, in fact, part of the art, history and culture of Yoga. If you study Karate somewhere you will see much the same in the way of ornamentation.
Part of the learning experience involves more or less translating these eastern traditions into your own culture and understanding. If the traditions are altered, inevitably, some of the deeper understanding is lost as well.
This is why we teach the lessons just as they have always been taught for thousands of years. It is why the martial arts are taught just as they have always been taught. If you discard the traditions, you discard part of the knowledge and system with them.
I am already doing some other form of exercise:
That is good. Everyone should obtain some form of exercise three times a week and Yoga would be an excellent addition to an over all program.
We often get people at the Yoga Center who are running, weight lifting or taking some other form of exercise. They quickly discover they are not in as good shape as they believed. This is even true of weight lifters who routinely handle more than twice their own body weight.
Yoga is a balanced system. We are especially careful here not to develop some muscles at the expense of others. We don't trade flexibility for strength or vice versa.
Yoga was helping soldiers prepare for battle six thousand years ago and it can help you play golf, baseball, run, or lift weights today.
No matter what sport you are playing, yoga helps you do it better.
I have an injury:
Yoga is often recommended as therapy for injuries. We regularly have patients sent to us for this purpose.
Most injuries, even those of long standing, will heal if they get a chance. Certain conditions are obviously more serious and debilitating than others and may require special treatment but it is likely that some improvement in your condition can definitely be achieved.
We have helped people with chronic injuries to achieve pain free states and even to have scheduled surgeries canceled by their doctors,
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The exercises you did in high school most likely were hard, yucky and no fun. Additionally, they were probably of very little value in terms of life long health and fitness.
Yoga, on the other hand, is a completely different experience. In the first place there are 16 kinds of yoga and all of them involve a lot more than just exercise.
At the Yoga Center students of both sexes and all ages are surrounded by a quiet, healthy environment dedicated to better, happier living. The yoga center is not a gymnasium: there are no stifling, smelly locker rooms, no clanking weights, no shouting or any of the other distractions which always accompany that environment.
Our students are taught balance, focus and an energy management system which will vitalize their lives. They also study meditation and learn techniques to control stress and pain.
We do not concern ourselves at the Yoga Center with building muscles or losing weight per se, though you may do that. We are concerned with how you are, not how you look.
Our lessons proceed gradually so that the principles of health and vitality become a natural part of your life.
Yoga is just sitting on Pillows and Chanting
There are 17 kinds of yoga in all: Sixteen traditional forms and one imaginary form shown on Television.
It is true that the Laya Yoga tradition employs chants. It is also very unlikely that you have ever heard any authentic vowel sounds or traditional yoga chants on TV. Like the 50 shot six shooter the yoga forms represented in movies and on TV tend to be a product of the writer's imagination.
Traditionally, TV networks have been much more concerned with visual and emotional impact than with honestly portraying reality. Unfortunately, they have succeeded in conveying a lot of false and misleading information.
It is no great secret that music can calm and uplift the human spirit. Consequently, we do integrate it into our lessons but probably not in the way you have been lead to expect.
I am stressed out.
We can help you with that.
Any good physical fitness program, not just yoga, will help you deal with stress to some degree but at the Yoga Center we take this help a step further.
The class itself will reduce stress, as any exercise will. However, our instructors will also show you how certain unconscious behaviors trigger stress reflexes in the body and how to correct this problem.
This is knowledge you can use on a daily basis, not just while you are in class.
One of the hazards of going to a health spa or gymnasium is that you may not be well equipped to evaluate the teaching credentials of the staff.
Many students are being taught yoga, weight lifting, and a lot of other things by people who know little more about it than themselves. Our instructors have thousands of hours of experience. Those that are not already certified are working toward that goal and are being overseen by one that is.
Our certification comes from the Himalayan Institute. This
is a worldwide organization that has been in existence for over 30 years.
Certification there requires over 2 years of study, training and preparation
including, at least, one residential period of two weeks.
Any good exercise program will stimulate bone growth. The trick is to insure that the activity is doing more good than harm. For example, running can stimulate bone growth. It may also batter your joints and cause serious injury to tendons and ligaments, furthermore it is an activity which is difficult to do on a year round basis in our area.
At the Yoga Center, students are shown exercises which are appropriate for their ages and individual conditions. We have successfully taught yoga to students in their 70's and 80's; all of them experienced improvements in their health and lives.
Using Yoga Videos
We keep an extensive library of videos and books on hand at the center for use by our members. However, most yoga videos are not very helpful to new students.
In the first place, beginners are ill equipped to distinguish between the good videos and the bad videos. A great deal of mis-information exists in the marketplace. They may also select a video containing advanced postures which they cannot possibly do at their current state of development and become discouraged and give up.
In the second place, students are generally unable to tell whether they are doing the postures correctly or not. This puts them in the position of wasting their time and may lead to injuries.
One of the great advantages of attending a regular class is having a qualified instructor on hand. An instructor will not only correct your errors, but perhaps more importantly, will show you that you are capable of far more than you believed.
It is very unlikely that you will experience the improvements in health and living watching videos that you will experience at the Yoga Center.
Taking Care of You
Unless you take care of yourself, you are not going to be able to take care of anyone else for very long.
To maintain maximum vitality and health you should engage in some kind of vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week. These sessions do not necessarily all have to be yoga but it is imperative that you do something.
For most of us, our most compelling immediate need is to get over the idea that yoga is optional and make some space for ourselves to do something about it. In our culture and society we are all subjected to terrific stresses and a very unhealthy environment. All of this takes a terrible toll on our bodies and minds. Eventually this effects our lives adversely in many different ways.
No one else can reverse this damage for you. No one else can improve your condition, but we can help. In practice, our lessons each last one hour. If you cannot set aside a couple of hours a week to take care of yourself, something is wrong with your priorities. If you do set aside this time, we guarantee that you will see an improvement in the quality of your life. Moreover, it is almost certain that the savings in medical expenses over the years will far outweigh the cost of our classes.