Yoga, which means “union,” is a 5,000-year-old system of principles and practices originating in India. Yoga incorporates nutrition guidelines, ethics, exercise, and meditation with the intention of bringing together the mind, body, and spirit.
Most types of yoga practiced in the United States focus on movement and breathing, and do not require a total lifestyle change. More than a hundred variations of yoga are practiced in the United States — some slow and gentle and others active and fast-moving.
One of the most frequently practiced types of yoga is called hatha yoga, which uses physical poses and breathing techniques to increase strength, flexibility, and well-being.
Research has shown that yoga may be able to help:
- improve physical functioning
- reduce fatigue
- reduce stress
- improve sleep
- improve quality of life