Yoga is an ancient part of Hindu philosophy and the practice of yoga was used to achieve liberation from the limits of the physical body. It is not necessary to be Hindu to practice yoga or to practice the spiritual aspects of yoga to reap the benefits of a regular yoga practice. There are eight “limbs” or types of yoga that are practiced to achieve what is believed to be total liberation from our bodies. For the average person practicing yoga we are most familiar with Hatha yoga (a phrase that means movement yoga), with pranayama (breath work) and meditation.
Practicing yoga individually with a yoga teacher helps to build a foundation to practice in a class or on your own. It is important to learn that not every yoga pose is for everyone and modifications and props should be used when appropriate and a teacher can guide you in this process of learning the best practice for you.
What can be expected from yoga practice is that there are physical changes and emotional changes. Yoga helps to steady the mind, lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate, builds strength and improves balance. The effects of yoga can truly change your life by changing how you feel.