Home » Yoga FAQs / Links

Yoga FAQs / Links

This page provides answers to some common questions.

*What is yoga?
*What is hatha yoga?
*What style of yoga is taught at Red Sun Yoga?
*What are the benefits of practicing yoga?
*Local Links
*Yoga Links

What is yoga?
Yoga is a 5,000 year old system of health that benefits all aspects of an individual – physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Yoga is not a religion, anyone can practice yoga. The original purpose of the postures and breathing exercises was to prepare practitioners to sit still and alert for long periods of time in meditation. It is the oldest physical discipline in existence. It is a scientific system designed to bring the practitioners health, happiness, and a greater sense of self.

In Yoga, the body and mind are linked to create a state of internal peacefulness and integration, bringing the individual from a state of separation to a self-unity that is flexible, accepting and whole. At the practical level, Yoga utilizes stretching postures, breathing, and meditation techniques to calm the emotional state and the mind, and tone the body.

Today, over 20 million people in the United States practice yoga.

Yoga is so many things and means something different for every individual. Yoga can be a tool to improve health and get fit, a ritual of relaxation and stress-relief, a path towards spiritual evolution, or a form of highest service. We recognize that we all start and continue a yoga practice for different reasons. This is why we are continuously improving our offerings so that we may better serve the needs of a diverse student population, as well as support the talents of our teachers.

What is hatha yoga?
Hatha Yoga is the style of yoga that is used at Red Sun Yoga. Hatha focuses primarily on the physical, and was designed to keep the body healthy and strong so that one could sit comfortably to meditate. The word hatha is the union between ha (sun) and tha (moon), a metaphor for bringing the body and mind together. Hatha consists of three components: asana, pranayama and meditation.

What style of yoga is taught at Red Sun Yoga?
Group classes at Red Sun Yoga are primarily Hatha Yoga with an Integral influence. This form of yoga is appropriate for beginners as well as advanced students. In addition, the studio also provides specialty classes and other styles of yoga are taught in workshops hosted at Red Sun Yoga.

What are the benefits of practicing yoga?
Yoga postures help to realign the spine and increase the range of motion of joints while strengthening muscles. When done in conjunction with breathing techniques, yoga postures stimulate circulation, tonify internal organs to aid in digestion and detoxification, harmonizes the nervous and endocrine systems, and cause the brain to release endorphins. Traditional styles of yoga do not incur the potentially negative effects associated with high-impact forms of exercise.

Breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and meditation promote a quiet mind and clear thinking. Yoga is also an integral part of many stress management programs that are paid for by many health insurance companies. Yoga is increasingly embraced by the medical community, endorsed by such figures as Andrew Weil, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., Joan Borysenko, M.D., and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

As with any form of exercise, you should check with your doctor before beginning yoga, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, spine injury, or recent surgery.


STRESS RELIEF. Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.

PAIN RELIEF. Yoga can ease pain. Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report that even emotional pain can be eased through the practice of yoga.

BETTER BREATHING. Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.

FLEXIBILITY. Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class. Practitioners begin to use the correct muscles to make the movement and, over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles gradually lengthen and elasticity is increased. These gradual changes can mean that more and more poses are possible.

INCREASED STRENGTH. Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. And, while the postures practiced in yoga strengthen the body, they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension.

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. Yoga (even less vigorous styles) can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels as well as by burning excess calories and reducing stress. Yoga also encourages healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of well being and self-esteem.

IMPROVED CIRCULATION. Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.

CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING. Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.

BETTER BODY ALIGNMENT. Yoga helps to improve body alignment, resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle problems.

FOCUS ON THE PRESENT. Yoga helps us to focus on the present, to become more aware and to help create mind body health. It opens the way to improved coordination, reaction time and memory.
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