Yoga is a 5,000-year-old discipline from India. It was developed as a practice to unite the mind and body. There are many branches of yoga. All yoga styles can help balance your body, mind, and spirit, but they achieve it in various ways.
Benefits of yoga
Yoga's gentle movements are a big reason for why it’s so popular. Yoga is good for people who haven't been active in a while. It’s good for people who have certain health conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis. You can change the exercises to fit your needs. But yoga is also great if you're already fit and want a challenging workout. As you become more strong and flexible with yoga, it's easier to do other kinds of exercise like dancing, walking, or swimming.
Yoga can help you:
Reduce your risk for injury. Each yoga pose targets specific muscles. This helps you increase your flexibility and reduce your risk for injury.
Reduce stress. Yoga can help soothe the mind and lower stress levels. It does this by focusing the mind on the moment and the movements.
Increase your concentration. A main part of yoga is rhythmic, focused breathing. This can help you focus.
Understand the mind and body connection. Yoga requires you to focus all your energy on each movement or pose exactly. This can help you feel the mind and body work together.
Gain strength and stamina. More vigorous styles of yoga promote strength and stamina.
Improve balance and stability. Balancing poses require you to use your core muscles. This can help you improve your overall stability.
Improve posture. Yoga poses strengthen and open tight areas of the body like the shoulders and muscles of the upper back. This can help you keep good posture.
Develop body awareness. Yoga requires you to contract or relax specific muscles as you stretch into each pose. This can help you become more aware of your body’s strengths and weaknesses.
Types of yoga
You have many types of yoga to choose from. They use different kinds of movements called poses. You may prefer a certain type, depending on your goals and fitness level:
Hatha yoga. This form of yoga is the most popular in the U.S. It’s known as the yoga of force. It emphasizes strengthening and purifying the body. It involves physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama).
Iyengar yoga. This style of yoga focuses on alignment. It is fluid and dancelike. It uses props like wooden blocks, straps, chairs, bolsters, and blankets to help you achieve and hold postures you otherwise couldn't hold.
Ashtanga yoga. This kind of yoga is sometimes called ashtanga vinyasa or power yoga. It's intense and fast-paced. It’s designed to build your endurance and strength. You do a series of postures in 1 continuous, flowing movement. You link the motions to breathing patterns.
Bikram yoga. You do this form of yoga in a very hot room, unlike many other types of yoga. Bikram yoga involves a set of 26 postures that you practice twice per session. First you do standing and balance poses. Then you do back bends, forward bends, and twisting postures.
Restorative yoga. This type of yoga does not use active postures. It focuses instead on the relaxation part of yoga.
Kripalu yoga. This is a gentler, slower-moving style of yoga. It’s between restorative yoga and the more vigorous forms.

It can help relieve chronic pain
Studies suggest that practicing yoga reduces pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain, and other chronic conditions.
You will have steamier sex!
Studies have found that yoga practice significantly increases levels of testosterone in the blood, which is in turn correlated with increased sexual desire and activity in men and women. Other studies have shown links between yoga and a variety of satisfaction factors in bed, including confidence and performance.

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