· to learn about our bodies, such as stiffnesses or over flexibilities
· to work with and correct our weaknesses
· to prepare us for breathing exercises (pranayama)
· to train the mind to become calm: alert but passive
· to move us through the eight limbs of yoga, through concentration meditation towards the ultimate goal of self-realization and mental peace (I’m afraid it takes a lifetime!)
The eight limbs of yoga
Yama - universal moral principles such as non-violence and truthfulness.
Niyama - rules of personal conduct. This applies to oneself, such as self study, dedication, contentment and purity.
Asana - the practice of Yoga poses.
Pranayama - the practice of breathing techniques.
Pratyahara - withdrawal of the senses from external objects.
Dharana - concentration.
Dhyana - meditation leading to a state of supreme bliss.
Samadhi - the peak of meditation which leads to a state of higher consciousness.