I met Ram Bhakt at a protest in Long Beach, California last fall. He was there along with a few other people to sit in meditation in order to bring peace to the action. I was impressed by him immediately…he has a good vibe. I know some of you reading this might think, this sounds airy fairy but I learned to trust my senses and I have rarely been wrong. Bhakt recently opened the School of Yoga in Long Beach and his classes are quite affordable. He not only teahces Yoga, he lives it. The following is a post he wrote, that I took (with his permission) from his website. Enjoy!
How Yoga Heals
Yoga as a form of exercise has very specific goals in mind. Simply put, yoga practice seeks to make the breathing deeper and to create easefulness in the body by self-massaging and stretching actions. When the breathing is deeper and calm the mind is relaxed and functions better. When we are stressed, the mind reacts by holding the body in various positions and tightening happens unconsciously either in the chest or in muscles throughout the body and this affects our posture, flexibility and our state of mind.
Yoga postures held for longer periods of time allow these deeper holding patterns in the body to slowly release and the result is a liberation of energy that the body was before wasting holding these fixed patterns. When we focus on how the body feels in yoga practice, then we become more sensitive to the intelligent signals of the body that tell us it needs more healthy foods, exercise or rest. In this way our habits start to move in the direction of health and well-being.
On a physical level, in positions where the belly is pressed on the ground the internal organs also get massaged and become tone. Almost all of the organs and muscles in the body are controlled by nerves leaving the spinal column, therefor in yoga practice there is an emphasis on contracting, bending and twisting the spine in order to maintain overall health It is however also important to know that yoga is not just about doing exercise as it is about taking time to give the mind and senses a rest. The deep relaxation that is experienced after yoga class acts directly to initiate the healing response in the body and mind for processing toxins and thought patterns that keep us stuck or limit our energy.
When you practice yoga regularly and are reminded to breathe deeply and to pay attention to posture, slowly your digestion improves and you start to feel relaxed and positive throughout the day. These are the simple yet profound results of how yoga heals the body and mind.
To see a more detailed list check out this article
Find out more about the Long Beach School of Yoga here