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The term Yoga has a few meanings. It?s both a school of thought in the Hindu religion, and a system of mental and physical exercise developed by this school. All forms of yoga originated in India. People who follow this school, and practice any form of yoga are called yogis, or yogins. Students study under prolonged and careful guidance of the teacher, known as the guru. The first syllable ?gu,? in Sanskrit means light; the second syllable, ?ru? means light. A guru is a spiritual teacher who leads the pupil from darkness to light. Literally, yoga means ?the union of mind and body.? In Sanskrit, the language of India, yoga means discipline. Many people in western countries practice some form of yoga exercise in hope of improving their health, and achieving peace of mind. Various forms of yoga have become popular in Europe and the United States. Transcendental Meditation is a simplified version of the yoga of Hinduism. Bhakti-Yoga involves the dedication of all actions and thoughts to a chosen God. Hatha-Yoga, stresses difficult bodily postures and breathing techniques. It has become very popular as a method of gaining and improving health. Certain people also study this form of yoga because of the control they develop over certain bodily functions. A new concept in fitness combines gentle stretching with techniques from Hatha Yoga to perform the most effective, relaxing ways of exercising. It is called Yogacise. There are other forms of yoga that are practiced in India. There is Prana Yoga, Brahma Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Tantra Yoga.

Yoga is used for many purposes. From cleansing the body, to activating the nervous system, to improving one?s intelligence or sex life. Stretching in yoga is quite relaxing. There are perscribed positions known as asanas. In our society, Hatha Yoga seems to be the most commonly practiced. Hatha derived from two Sanskrit roots. ? Ha,? means sun and ?Tha? means moon. The goal of this type of yoga is designed to stretch and activate every muscle in the body. Studies show that many illnesses and discomforts people experience have been affected in a very positive manner. This yoga has a genuine therapeutic value. Generally, yoga can reverse the aging process, eliminate tension, reduce weight, rejuvenate sexual performance, instill self-confidence, completely resculpture your body, erase facial wrinkles, improve memory by increasing circulation to the brain, reduce stress and/or tension in the body, as well as improve flexibility. It also affects circulation, elimination, digestion, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.

Yoga is overall cleansing and conditioning of the mind, body, and spirit. Each asana has multiple benefits. The entire body will improve both internally and externally.

To start, you can either take classes or practice at home with specific guidelines in books. You should dress in loose, comfortable clothing that doesn?t restrict your movements. Choose a flat surface with plenty of space. Do not practice immediately after eating. Wait 90 minutes after a light meal and 3 hours after a heavy meal. Start slowly and always warm up the muscles first before you attempt any posture. There are several warm up exercises for the entire body, as well as for specific areas. Once you are warmed up, focus your concentration on what the posture does for you. Don?t stretch too much; you want to be less tense and more relaxed. If a certain asana will bend your body in one direction, then make sure it?s followed by one that bends you the other way to balance it out. There are certain exercises for certain parts of the body. The final ten to fifteen minutes of a yoga class involves complete devotion to relaxation. Combine this technique with proper breathing, and you are very likely to succeed in what you want to accomplish. Motivation and devotion are keys to success. Yoga should be practiced daily.

In my opinion, I feel that this technique is quite effective for conditioning the body. Whether you?re too stressed, have a migraine headache, or backache. I really think that any form of yoga is beneficial to humans. Although it cannot cure certain malfunctions in the body, it can improve the situation. I learned that in many religions and cultures, yoga is a way of achieving an overall balance of the body, mind, and spirit. I think that it?s amazing how a certain form of exercise or meditation (to an extent) can actually heal the body. Yoga postures are designed to stretch and relax tense areas of the body. Although these exercises are very effective, they shouldn?t be used as a substitute for medical advice and therapy.

In conclusion, yoga is great for people who lead hectic or stressful lives. It improves your physical appearance, increases vitality, and reduces stress tension. It teaches simple ways to improve your breathing and posture. It provides a range of conditioning and stretch exercises. Anyone any age can do it. If you?re bored easily, it has 84,000 posture variations. Yoga teaches a person many things. If you?re tense, it?ll teach you to relax. It?s a natural tranquilizer. It will even challenge the most advanced student. Yoga is merely a catalyst that activates the healing power we all possess.

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