Origins of Yoga

Yoga has its origins in India. Its earliest traces date back some 6,000 years. The first texts dealing with it (the Upanishads) date from the 7th century B.C. It is then present in all the spiritual literature of India, relating to disciplines associating the body and the spirit.

The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “jug”, meaning union. It defines the state of unity and the method for achieving it. It is a science of the human being.

Yoga is thus a discipline of self-knowledge that enables us to achieve personal balance on the physical, mental and spiritual levels.

Today in the West

Hatha yoga is the most widely practised form of yoga in the West.
It is a global discipline based on physical, respiratory, mental and meditative practices. Harmonising the energies involved, it aims to rediscover a state of unity. The practice of yoga in the West is not linked to any religious or dogmatic affiliation.

The Western context (usually a weekly class) does not allow for intensive, regular practice (several hours a day), as was the case in India, so yoga needs to be adapted. This adaptation can take several forms: preparation for the postures, simplified variations, limitations in certain breathing practices, use of accessories, etc.

However, yoga must retain its coherence and spirit, i.e., a holistic approach to the whole being aimed at creating a state of presence, harmony and unity, which clearly differentiates it from any ‘gentle gymnastics’.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is for anyone who is interested, regardless of age or physical condition, as long as they respect their own body and how they feel at the time (tiredness, illness, disability, stress, etc.). It has both physical and psychological benefits, improving: flexibility and tone, body awareness, perception of limits (you learn to tame your body rather than train it), breathing capacity and the development of vitality, stress management and effectiveness in action through greater concentration, focus and presence.

These effects can be seen in particular in the alleviation of problems (without calling into question medical treatment if necessary): stress, insomnia, back pain, blood circulation, difficulty concentrating, lack of self-confidence, heightened emotionality, depression, etc. In addition to its beneficial effects, yoga changes our way of seeing things, our perception of ourselves and others, and therefore our relationship with the whole environment.

Today, yoga is experiencing unprecedented growth. It represents a possible response to a variety of expectations: physical well-being, refocusing, better self-knowledge, etc. But these expectations often evolve with practice. For example, it is possible to start out with a somewhat “physical” motivation (seeking vitality, well-being, etc.) and then move towards a more inward-looking approach, through meditation, for example. In this way, the practice of yoga contributes to our personal evolution while adapting to it.

My teaching

The proposed approach is designed to be balanced and adaptable to each individual. It’s based on feeling and listening to your inner self so that you can constantly adjust between effort and letting go. The aim is to find the right balance: neither too much nor too little. Awareness of bodily sensations, which becomes more refined as practice progresses, facilitates this adjustment.

The classes on offer are inspired by Indian tradition but adapted to our European culture. They are based on physical and mental work: postures, sequences, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation. Synchronising the body with the breath is a crucial element of the practice, which promotes a better quality of being.

As long as you can breathe, you can practise yoga, and the rest is extra. (Desikachar)

It is not the person who must adapt to yoga, but yoga which must adapt to the person. (Krishnamacharya)

This approach is reflected in the following principles

Personalization according to the state of the practitioner, his needs, his age, the season…

Synchronisation between body movements and breath.

Progression via degrees in the postures, compensations, and progression within the session.

Paying attention to body sensations, the breath, and the energy that circulates. Importance of the “inner gaze”.

Balance between effort and letting go.

Mindful Life Yoga

Nurture your BODY, Free your BREATH, Calm your MIND!