Western and Eastern understanding of yoga vary greatly in the application of practice. Specifically, the modern Western view of yoga sees asana, or physical postures, as the definition of practice. Yoga's ancient origins include physical poses as number three of an eight-limbed path to enlightenment.
The impact of yoga asana practice offers a substantial enlightenment of its own. Augmenting physical strength of the body while unlocking otherwise dormant energy centers of the more subtle layers of human identity are part of the vast potential available in a consistent practice.
A noteworthy aspect of asana, in my opinion, is the subtle unlocking of the nervous system through continually improved posture. Our body relies on our brain's ability to communicate with our organs via the central nervous system (CNS) which runs through the spine. The health and alignment of our spine has a direct effect on the function of our organs, hormones, blood oxygenation and more.
Your vagus nerve, aptly named after the word vagabond, is the largest nerve in your body which controls the parasympathetic nervous system. This network begins at the brain, running through the spinal column, and spilling out into various parts of your body. Interestingly, the various entry points of the vagus nerve from the spine into the body correspond perfectly with the Indian mapping of the chakra system.
Consistent yoga asana and pranayama (breath work) practice is a vital indicator of present and future mental and physical health. To begin or deepen your yoga journey, drop me a note on our contact page at www.oceana-yoga.com