What is Yoga?

Yoga is a unique blend of mental and physical disciplines which when practiced regularly, serve to unify your body, mind and spirit.
Yoga Q&A


Q: What types or styles of Yoga are taught at Greenwood Yoga Academy?

  • A: Hatha Yoga and Raja yoga. Raja yoga is regarded as the royal path of yoga and known as the scientific path or the science of the mind. Ha and tha, the sun and moon, refer to the two opposite currents that regulate all processes in our body. There is nothing mysterious about it because anything in our universe exists because of a positive and negative charge. Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga are specifically dealing with the intention of gaining control over the flow of these life-currents. Hatha Yoga is known for the asanas or postures. It is thought that by perfecting the body, creating a healthy physical condition, and raising Kundalini (dormant energy) upwards along the spine, the body becomes better prepared for Yogic awakening. The first effects felt are usually improved health and strengthened nervous system. Some Hatha Yogis may even demonstrate control over internal organs, blood flow, and breathing.

Q: Why is Raja Yoga known as the scientific path?

  • A: Because all its practices and techniques aim to release the dormant psychic potential within the human personality. Its foundation is well researched and it is an approved, safe and practical system of concentration and control of the mind to bring enduring peace.

Q. Who compiled the research and results and when?

  • The sage Patanjali (who lived around 200 B.C.) compiled the findings of the ancient yogis into what is known as the Yoga Sutras. This is a text that explains the workings of the mind and provides a system for controlling the restless mind. The system is an eight-part path which is known as Ashtanga, and this is the basis for all classes at Greenwood Yoga Academy.

Q. What is the system?

  • A. Ashtanga, meaning 'eight limbs', is an aspect of Raja Yoga which comprises:

  1. Yamas − These consist of the ethical precepts of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity and non-covetousness.

  2. Niyamas − These are personal practices to be observed. They are cleanliness of mind and body, contentment, burning determination, study of the self and surrender of all thoughts and actions to the divine. The Niyamas facilitate the establishment of discipline in daily life.

  3. Asanas − These are the yoga postures. They are described as having the effect of steadiness and joy. Long, disciplined and continued practice is required and is necessary to attain mastery of the asana. Traditionally there are said to be 840,000 asanas, corresponding to the full potential of our human movement. After Patanjali’s time the systematic practice of asanas died out in India. However, in recent years the range and depth of the asanas are becoming known again through the work of B.K.S. Iyengar and other modern yogis.

  4. Pranayama − This is the art of yoga breathing. It consists of the regulation and refinement of the inhalation, exhalation and retention of breath. Pranayama should be learnt only after a degree of proficiency has been gained in the asanas.

  5. Pratyahara − This is the drawing in of the senses from the external world to the internal self.

  6. Dharana − This is uninterrupted concentration, with the mind focused steadily on a particular point or object.

  7. Dhyana − This is meditation. The subject and object of focus or concentration draw near each other to become one.

  8. Samadhi − This is a transcending state beyond meditation. A state of bliss and truth. This occurs through a culmination of yoga practice and is rarely attained.

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12-14 Baretta Road

Wangara, WA, 6065