How is Yoga Different than Stretching?

by Melissa West on August 31, 2016

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Yoga Different than Stretching?

How-Yoga-is-different-than-stretchingToday’s question comes from Mary from Facebook, she wants to know, how is yoga different than stretching?

Thank you for a great question Mary 🙂

The short answer to that is that yoga is much more than stretching. While yoga focuses on flexibility, there are also many postures that focus on strength and endurance as well. In addition, there is a great deal of mindfulness in each yoga postures. You will focus on what is happening in your physical body, notice your breath, your thoughts, your emotions and your energy throughout your yoga practice as well.

When I teach yoga classes, I always include some form of “teaching” as well. The teachings are usually in line with yoga philosophy. This may come from one of the spiritual texts of yoga such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras or the Bhagavad Gita, but I will also teach contemporary spirituality as well, for example right now I am teaching a series called Poetry in Motion with yoga poses and contemporary poetry.

Finally, the way I teach yoga includes sankalpa or intention setting, meditation with mudras (yoga position for your hands) and a reflection at the end of the yoga class about what you received from your experience and what you are going to take off your mat and into your life. All of this goes beyond stretching your hamstrings in my experience. 😉

Thank you so much for your question Mary. If you have any other questions or comments, please leave them below.

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Namaste, Melissa



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