Toga Yoga

First of all, and before I get to the subject in mind, I’d like to clear one point that this article is not meant to give all the historical / sientifical information about Yoga.

Another point I’d like to clear is that there is no such thing as ” TogaYoga”, this was a mere term created by a friend, by which he meant: Cheers to Yoga.

The last and the most important point I’d like to clear here is that I’m trying my best to use minimum words to answer one question I’m always asked by new students in my Yoga classes ;

Why does my doctor recommend Yoga to me, I don’t have the flexible body it needs, nor I have the patience to sit still for 20 minutes pretending that I’m relaxed when I’m too hyper to do that.

Now to answer this question I’d have to publish a book. Yet I see it as my responsibility to give some ideas of this mysterious type of exercise that a lot of people around the world, have some vague idea about, or may be none at all.

What is Yoga?
Forget the scientific definition, what you need to know is that any proper Yoga practice have one major element; proper breathing through proper poses; this kind of practice maintains your physical body and nourishes it with vital energy, this energy is needed to relax your mind and therefore you can connect with your soul.

Physical benefits to the body:
There is a saying that goes like:” you are as young as your spinal cord”. Your spinal cord is the switchboard of your body, therefore; having it flexible would maintain your body longer.
How is this done?
Well, each basic exercise is designed to fully activate certain organs, legaments and glands, to explain this, I’ll give you an example :
we only engage one third of the upper lungs in our natural breathing process, which means that 2/3 of the lung is practically not used, these areas that are not used will show signs of decay as we grow older, and, therefore; the chance of fatigue and sickness to these parts will increase. But through practicing yoga the full capacity of the lung is forced to be activated and engaged.
This is true not only for the lungs, but for all the internal organs, ligaments, and glands.

Mental benefit:
Yoga provides you with the intelligence to let your mind control your body, and not visa versa. This is very essential; it manifests itself in your daily dealings; with yourself first, then with others. You see the ones that have been practicing yoga for some time are more balanced in their lifes, have clearer minds to make right decisions, and they definitely give each and every event its proper weight without exaggeration.

Spiritual benefit;
Yoga is not a religion. Therefore spirituality here refers to the happiness and ecstasy that you can bring into your world without waiting for some circumstance to create it for you. It’s more like re-designing yourself by digging deep and searching for the basic traits of your soul. Getting to know you, befriend you, and therefore love you, for only then you can love others and have more self confidence.

Now this whole thing is not some magical elixir, it’s just some simple mental techniques / mind exercises that you need to properly practice so you can get the full benefit.

How does it function?
Every proper yoga practice has to have some basic poses through which breathing is enhanced, this breathing not only provides the cells in your body with oxygen and nutrients, but also provids it with the vital energy to activate and harmonize seven main energy centers as well as thousands of other minor energy centers throughout your body, and therefore preparing your mind to be relaxed in the final session of the practice. And the result? A new you.

So to answer that question I’d have to say, yoga is not those acrobatic poses you see in books and magazines, some very easy poses can do the job if you gradually increase the time you spend in each pose and breath properly. Yoga is for everyone and everyone can practice it. And if you think you are hyper, most probably you need to practice yoga more than others.
ching ching

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rik
    Sep 30, 2004 @ 01:12:00

    I like your blog,it’s interesting to read.
    Keep writing 🙂
    [My blog][avatars and funny stuff]


  2. AyyA
    Sep 30, 2004 @ 01:43:00

    Thanks Ric 🙂


  3. DJ
    Sep 30, 2004 @ 11:49:00

    I have recently become interested in learning more about Yoga for the health benefits – flexibility, relaxation, etc… I’ve always been kind of the walking & step aerobics kinda gal, but I’ve been thinking for the past six months or so that Yoga would be great to get into. If I still lived in the US I’d be in a class now, trying it for real. I’ve not even looked for a class here yet. (maybe after my Italian is sufficient enough to understand the instructions and ask questions) In the mean time I’ve been reading up on breathing techniques, relaxation, meditation and a few yoga exercises on line. I know it’s not the same but it’s been interesting. I liked your blog.

    I also liked your poem in the previous post. Very fresh and romantic, evoking loneliness and a sense of loss and yet leaving the heart warm. Very well written.

    I’m going to check back in the future. Keep it coming!


  4. AyyA
    Sep 30, 2004 @ 22:12:00

    Dear DJ
    Thanks and you are welcome anytime in my blog, but why Italian? Do you live in Italy?


  5. DJ
    Sep 30, 2004 @ 23:06:00

    Yes. I live in Italy. In a small town. It’s beautiful here and I love it. Miss my family and friends, but otherwise it’s GREAT!


  6. AyyA
    Sep 30, 2004 @ 23:07:00

    Oh, and one more thing DJ, never practice Yoga on your own, you have to have a teacher first until you can be ready to go on your own, because some yoga poses, if not done properly, could cause permanent damage.


  7. AyyA
    Oct 01, 2004 @ 00:21:00

    Dear DJ:
    I was into; gymnastics, swimming and running competition when I was a very young girl. Then I started with Aerobics, steps, slide, basketball, racquetball, squash, and a bit of horse riding. And since I’m the type that always lose interest in any thing that stops giving me excitement, I abandoned all the above mentioned sports and got an expertise in none.
    But about 14 years back this yoga thing raised my curiosity and as a result I started “what I call my yoga mission” research.
    I started practicing all types of yoga you can imagine but never really could understand and feel yoga until about 4 years back when I was introduced to Ayenger Yoga. And something else happened in about three years back when I joined a “Raja Yoga: the king of Yoga” group. Raja yoga deals with spirituality and mind exercises. It was at that time when things got connected together in my mind and made sense.
    But when I started the Ayenger Yoga, I still wasn’t sure about my body needs for exercises and thought yoga was not enough, I needed some cardiovascular work-outs and so I added Tai-Boxing.
    Now I know that all the benefits that a cardiovascular work-out can provide to my body are readily available” and more” in Yoga.
    I was a dedicated yoga practitioner as a belief, but never stopped my Tai-Boxing work-outs because the latter added excitement to my life.
    I started giving yoga practice about three years back in gyms and at friend’s houses as a part time job. Now that so much was said about me, I advise you girl GO FOR IT.


  8. DJ
    Oct 01, 2004 @ 11:30:00

    Thanks for the advice, and the encouragement.

    I take your advice not to practice yoga alone without propper training seriously as I can see the benefits and the need for a trainer, especially in the beginning. Having someone teach you how to propperly and safely excerise is very important and I know how valuable the professional guidance has been in my past pursuits of aerobics and other fitness venues.

    I guess the phase I am in right now is that “research” phase you mentioned. (I’ve found some intersting sites and references on-line.)

    My initial interest was in breathing techniques and relaxation. I sometimes get insomnia and thought these might help. However, as I learn more I become more and more interested. If you can suggest any reference sites or materials I might find informative it would be greatly appreciated.

    Since moving to Europe three years ago I have had a terrible time re-establishing and sticking to a regular work out routine. It has really taken a toll on me physically, and I’m sure it has probably had its toll on my mental wellness.

    Latest attempts to return to step aerobics and body sculpting (free weights) have been mediocre at best. If not for the fact that my sister meets me on line at 5:30 a.m. her time four times a week so we can excercise ‘together’, I’m afraid I wouldn’t even pull out the excercise matt most days.

    As I begin to slowly, but steadily, get back into shape I am realizing that I am not as flexible as I once was. To top it off, a fall while hiking in the mountains almost two years ago still has my lower back givng me issues at times. I think Yoga might be a good way to gain back that flexibility and eleviate some of that recurring lower back pain. (Another reason to excerise safely!)

    Furthermore, I like the spirituality aspects of Yoga – as described in your Toga Yoga post.


  9. AyyA
    Oct 01, 2004 @ 13:28:00

    Dear DJ
    The Bragma Kumaris institution can prove you with the materials you need in your research. They have centers all around the world and can assist you to locate a center close to where you live. Joining this group is free because this is the basis at which Raja Yoga stands for; happiness is attained by giving, not by receiving. They also provide courses and programs in English language. Chk their site
    The materials you’ll get from this institute will help you understand and feel yoga, it is dealt with spirituality and mind- relaxing techniques. You still need to practice “Asana: body poses” and” Pranayama: breathing techniques”, these latter exercises should be done in a proper practice rooms, but chk with your doctor first about that lower back problem…. And good luck.


  10. AyyA
    Oct 01, 2004 @ 13:53:00

    Sorry for the misspelled word, it’s Brahma Kumaris


  11. Drunk'n'Gorgeous
    Oct 01, 2004 @ 18:25:00

    Thanks for the informative post. Interesting subject as well. Too bad I can’t even keep my mind focused for even a mili-second before I start daydreaming haha I’m really really keen on learning Yoga but first I have to get the concentration part down, then the breathing, and finally start with beginner poses. Mashalla Rabab, you are amazing! I’m reffering to your list of … I’m not sure what to call them haha but ya3ny you did a lot of things. You’re what I call, a go-getter, but sadly you didn’t follow through with any one of them besides yoga 9a7? Me? I’m one of the talkative people who say that they’re going to do something but never get around to doing it. In other words, I’m a procrastinator 😛


  12. AyyA
    Oct 01, 2004 @ 19:17:00

    Yes D&G, sa7, except for Tai-Boxing that I do every once and a while” for fun” I never continued with any sport other than Yoga, but I don’t regret it 🙂


  13. DJ
    Oct 02, 2004 @ 10:54:00

    Thank you for the info and the site. There’s a center in Milan which is probably the closest to me. The site itself is in Italian but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and it’s a great start.


  14. AyyA
    Oct 16, 2004 @ 19:39:00

    You are welcome and let me know if you need more help.


  15. superduper24
    Jun 29, 2006 @ 03:09:00

    Hey, I was reading through your blog. I love it!

    I thought you might like my site tantra lovemaking.
    It focuses mostly on Toga Yoga.


  16. superduper24
    Jun 29, 2006 @ 09:22:00

    I love your blog, I think I’m going to bookmark you!

    You should check out my site distress or stress management site.
    It’s all about Toga Yoga related stuff.


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