What are yoga’s four guiding principles?

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Yoga is all about creating a balance in your life. There are four main principles that guide this philosophy and they are just as important today as they were when yoga was first developed centuries ago. In this post, we’ll take a look at what these principles are and how you can apply them to your own life.  

Here are Four Guiding Principles 

1. Mindfulness is the quality of being aware of what is happening in the present moment without too much attachment to it. The awareness that comes with mindfulness allows you to appreciate yourself and your life. When you’re mindful, you are able to fully experience each moment as it unfolds. Mindfulness increases satisfaction with life because it focuses on things like appreciation, contentment, and acceptance. You can practice mindfulness by focusing on your breathing during yoga class. This will enhance your experience by helping you focus on the activity at hand rather than allowing thoughts about other things distract you from making the most of this time for yourself. 

2. Breath work involves consciously controlling or manipulating your breath during meditation or poses to create certain effects within your body or mind–such as increased energy, relaxation, or focus. For example, pranayama is a yogic technique that involves breathing in through your nose for four seconds, holding the breath for sixteen seconds, breathing out for eight seconds, and then repeating. This type of breath work can help ease anxiety or stress by increasing oxygen supply to your blood and brain. 

3. Poses are body positions that you hold during yoga practice. Each pose has benefits that range from strengthening muscles to calming the mind. The most common yoga pose is sitting with knees bent and heels touching the floor while sitting on top of your feet (called happy baby pose). Happy baby pose is great because it opens up the lower back which helps release tension in the lower back muscles where people often carry stress. Another popular pose is downward facing dog, which lengthens the spine while strengthening the arms and shoulders to release any tension in your back or neck. 

4. Meditation is the moment when you disconnect from all sensory inputs (even internal ones like thoughts) through stillness. During meditation, however, it can be difficult to separate yourself completely from sensory input because of the constant need to adjust your position or scratch an itch. To help this process along, bring mindful awareness to certain parts of your body to make sure that they are relaxed; once you’ve achieved relaxation in one part of your body, move on to another until eventually you’re completely calm and stationary. Meditation can reduce stress by helping people feel more connected with their own bodies and minds. 

Yoga combines these four principles to create a holistic workout that has both mental and physical benefits for practitioners. It can ease stress or anxiety, improve your strength and flexibility and even lessen pain and fatigue. Yoga is also becoming so popular because it’s a great way for people to switch up their usual exercise routine. There are many different types of yoga from hot power yoga at the gym to yin at home—something for everyone! People who practice yoga often feel happier, calmer, more focused, less stressed, more energized, and have an overall better quality of life than those who don’t practice. Even just taking a few minutes every day to focus on mindfulness through breath work can bring you closer to living a life centered on living in the present moment. 


About the Authors  

Journey Healing Centers focuses on Yoga primarily as a healing practice for men, women and children of all ages.  We know that most Americans believe that “yoga is good for you,” but did you know that science backs them up? It’s true! Yoga has been shown to improve health, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance, all while reducing stress, anxiety, and pain. Yoga practitioners have a stronger sense of mental clarity, physical fitness, flexibility, and strength.  As you can see these are all powerful reasons for taking up Yoga – so join us! 

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