Five Basic Principles of Yoga
Written by Jackie Sloves for Anamaya Five Principles of Yoga Yoga retreats at our Anamaya Hotel Resort embody the essence of yoga teachings. At one of our yoga retreats you will experience the yoga lifestyle, which detoxifies the body, mind, and spirit. There are five basic principles that compose the root philosophy of yoga. The Philosophy of Yoga What is yoga? There is no one definition that can fully encompass the essence of yoga. Some may say it is a form of exercise, some may say it is a way to relax, while others may say it is a way of life. All of these beliefs about yoga are correct. In essence, yoga practice aims to align the body with the mind through fluid movement and controlled breathing. Yet, there is more to the ancient art of yoga than this. At the base of the yoga practice are five basic principles: proper exercise, breathing, relaxation, diet, and meditation. Exercise The body is the physical manifestation of a being; it is the shell that expresses and represents one’s self. One’s spiritual health begins with physical health, which is physical achieved through proper exercise. The yoga practice has beneficial effects to every part of the body – muscles, joints, ligaments, blood circulation, digestion, etc. Yoga incorporates various poses, or asanas, into fluid movements. One matches their breath with movement, causing a heightened awareness of the body. At an Anamaya yoga retreat, exercise is incorporated throughout the day. One begins the day with a yoga session, and can spend the afternoon in a Zumba class, waterfall hike, or even doing aerial silk acrobatics. Diet We are what we eat. A proper diet should accompany a yoga practice to maintain a healthy physical body. In order to detox one’s body, yoga recommends a vegetarian diet. Digesting meat requires more energy than a vegetarian diet; this energy is needed for rejuvenating the body through meditation and mental clarity. Here at Anamaya Hotel Resort we cater to vegetarian and vegan diets. The meals included in the yoga retreat packages are made with purely fresh, locally grown, and organic ingredients. Breathing Central to a yoga lifestyle is proper breathing. Most people become shallow chest breathers by the age of 8, which doesn’t utilize the full capacity of the lungs. Yoga emphasizes attention to breath, and taking long, deep inhalations that begin in the lower abdomen and fill up the entire chest cavity. This increases lung capacity and oxygen flow throughout the body, which clears and cleanses the mind. One achieves unity of the body and mind through proper breathing. At Anamaya Hotel Resort, there are breathing workshops to further emphasize proper breathing techniques. Relaxation One achieves inner peace and spiritual cleansing through proper relaxation. Relaxation begins in the physical body, manifested through losing all tension within the muscles. This then extends to the mind, and positively affects one’s actions throughout the day. One is able to cope with the hustle and bustle of the world when serenity is reached within. If the morning yoga class isn’t enough to keep you relaxed throughout the day, lounging in the infiniti pool or one of the many hammocks at the Anamaya Hotel Resort will help do the job. Meditation The final but most important aspect of the yoga philosophy is positive thinking and meditation. It is part of the yoga belief that everything in the physical body is controlled through the mind. If one can control their mind, then one has control of their body and health. Meditation allows one a way to ease the constant chatter of the mind, and instead control it, and channel it to positive thinking and spiritual health. The yoga retreats at Anamaya Resort Hotel provide an atmosphere and environment that is ideal for meditation and positive thinking.