Yoga is an ancient system developed thousands of years ago to help human beings live more satisfying lives and realize their full potential. The ancient sage, Patanjali, is credited with the earliest writings on yoga. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali tell us that yoga is about quieting the mind so that we can recognize who we truly are.
The Tools of Yoga
Yoga offers a variety of tools through which to access our true self. The most recognized tool is movement used to stretch and strengthen the body. Breath increases oxygenation to our systems, improving digestion and mental focus. Meditation helps quiet the mind and connect to our deeper self. Sound enhances concentration, developing our memory and voice. If desired, prayer and personal ritual help the practitioner connect to his or her own personal relationship with the divine. Yoga is a secular science that can benefit practitioners of all faiths.
The Yoga of Krishnamacharya
Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) was an influential yoga teacher and scholar from Chennai, India. His teaching evolved into a highly individualized approach, creatively integrating the tools of yoga for each student. This yoga approach is characterized by an integration of the breath and movement, and proper sequencing to prepare and protect the body. Known as the “teacher of teachers” Krishnamacharya’s teachings were passed on through his son TKV Desikachar and Gary Kraftsow, among other great teachers known in the West.