Introduction to Yoga

An introduction to some of the basic building blocks of yoga - an ideal form of exercise at home.

We asked June Adamson, Senior Instructor, Quality Assurance & Training at Sport & Exercise, for a short introduction to some of the principles of Yoga.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a yoking together, of intentionally unifying our body mind and spirit. And is suitable for everyone and all ages.

Yoga is a holistic practice and is beneficial for our mental health – it helps us to shift our attention from the constant chatter in our heads and instead use our mind to focus on our body and breath and yoga exercises which is very grounding  

A typical Yoga class

The usual format of a Yoga class would begin with a welcome/settling into the class with breathing /some warm up exercises/followed by standing /sitting and lying asanas and finishing with savasana (relaxation).

There are many styles of yoga, but some principles remain the same and include:

  • Pranayama - Breathing
  • Drishti -focus
  • Dharana - Concentration

Pranayama - Breathing

Breathing in yoga is intentional. Close your mouth, bring tip of tongue toward front teeth and begin to breath in and out through your nose. Notice and feel the expansion in the ribs as you inhale and the retraction on the exhale. Every movement in Yoga has an inhale or exhale

Drishti - Focus

In every yoga posture there is a position for the eyes to gaze which helps maintain our focus, attention, and balance. 

Dharana - Concentration

Yoga requires our full attention and It helps to have one gazing spot, controlled breathing and meditation (noticing when our mind wanders and drawing it back to the body and breath.)