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Yoga

Yoga is quickly becoming one of the most popular, if not the most popular, workout regime among those who are looking to gain flexibility, strength and even lose weight. It can be done from the privacy of your home or in a classroom. It is great for reducing stress and allowing for greater relaxation. Once you begin practicing, you learn that it is so much more than just a way to workout and keep in shape. It is a philosophy, a passion and a way of life for many of those involved in it. While you may be getting into it for the exercise, you may soon find yourself wrapped in the philosophy and spirituality that comes along with it.

The History

It originated in India during the Golden Age, nearly 26,000 years ago. The actual Sanskrit word, when broken down, means “to control”, “to yoke” or “to unite”. The word has also been translated to mean “joining”, “uniting” and “union”. The union is made between the self and the spirit. Yoga is a major part of the Hindu religion as it embodies their natural state of being and spiritual enlightenment. As a part of Hinduism, it belongs to one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy. If you dig deeper, you can read about how yoga is used in conjunction with meditation. Yoga is also a major part of Buddhism as a part of their meditation practices. It has even been linked to Islam and early Christianity.

Today has become increasingly popular, not so much for the spiritual benefits as for the physical advantages. You can take a yoga class at your local gym, a yoga studio or from the privacy of your own home through a personal instructor or yoga DVD. From popular musicians embracing Yoga to magazines filled with yoga ads, you simply cannot get away from Yoga and the influence it has had physically and mentally for a lot of people.

Benefits

It can do a lot for the human body, although it won’t cure every ailment. Yoga can be worked into virtually any lifestyle or schedule. Yoga has been proven to increase health and body awareness allowing yoga participants to better control their bodies. From flexibility increases to better body alignment, Yoga can help with a variety of ailments.

Physical Benefits

  • Increased Flexibility
  • Increased Strength
  • Improved Balance
  • Increased Stamina
  • Improved Body Alignment (reduces joint pain)

Mental Benefits

  • Stress Reduction
  • Body Awareness
  • Better Sleep
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Relaxation

There are many more physical and mental benefits, but these are the major ones. Those who suffer from certain conditions can also benefit from it. Women who are pregnant or who are planning on becoming pregnant can benefit greatly from it as well.

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