What Is Yoga?
Yoga means “yoke” or “union” in Sanskrit. It is an ancient Indian practice designed to integrate mind, body and spirit. Hatha yoga is the physical component of yoga philosophy. It combines postures (asana), breath awareness (pranayama) and relaxation (pratyahara). The postures release stiffness and tension, increase the flexibility of the spine and joints, and strengthen and tone every part of the body. Complete breathing increases energy and nourishes the body. Relaxation relieves stress and calms the mind.
Benefits of Yoga:
Yoga has been researched and documented to reduce stress and anxiety, decrease blood pressure and heart rate, alleviate pain, improve memory and increase flexibility of spine and joints. It improves motor skills and balance, muscle tone and strength, energizes the body and mind and enhances metabolic and respiratory functions. A regular practice increases concentration and mindfulness.
There is nothing more pure in the world than the knowledge of
the true self. In due time this will come to the devoted
practitioner of yoga.
~Bagavad Gita, IV.38