Maui Yoga and Dance Shala

Maui Yoga Blog

Yoga – Union

The word ‘Yoga‘ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. We can go on to say that yoga means unifying what seems to be opposite – body and mind, inner and outer, head and heart. When we synchronize breath and movement in our regular practice, we build our capacity to be present and we literally change our brain in the direction of wellbeing and compassion.  In other words, yoga moves us toward wholeness, intelligence and healing at all levels of our being.

Our practice helps us realize our human potential by linking our mind and our heart, helping us be the best we can be and more wholly and truly ourselves.  Yoga cultivates what is good and true in us, and can give us the strength and balance to share that with others. Our practice encourages us to blossom…. just like a flower in the sun, shining the gifts of its unique beauty to the world. 

At the Maui Yoga Shala we are blessed to be transmitting the wisdom teachings of yoga in our teacher trainings.  It is so fulfilling to know that as our students become teachers themselves, they will go out into the world to inspire, support and encourage others on this path of  union, and in their own unique way, shine the light of love and aloha to all they encounter. 

Yoga and the Spirit of Aloha


Here in Hawaii,  aloha is more than just a greeting, it is a way of life. The spirit of aloha is the heart-centered way of love, compassion and connection.  

We of course first associate the word aloha as a hello or good-bye.  If we look a little deeper, the meaning of aloha is quite special.   Aloha is an essence of being:  love, peace, compassion, and mutual understanding.  Aloha means living in harmony with the people and land around you with sympathy, grace, and kindness.  The direct translation from Hawaiian to English is the presence of divine breath. The Hawaiian word alo is presence, front and face, and ha is breath.

In our practice of yoga we remember our breath as a way to bring us back to the moment, to link body, mind and heart. With aloha there is a recognition of the breath, the spirit within us, and the spirit that we all share. When we say aloha, we recognize that we share our very breath, and acknowledge and respect that sacred connection. In much the same way, when we practice yoga, we center in our body and mind through our breath, we come into union with ourselves and the moment….from there it natural to connect to each other from our hearts, from what is best in us. 

Yoga cultivates aloha….and aloha inspires our yoga lifestyle. What a beautiful way to live a life that brings light to ourselves and the world.

Aloha is ultimately the recognition of the divine within oneself and the other – Namaste’ anyone? Aloha!


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