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Mental and physical disciplines to achieve peacefulness of mind and body
Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years.
Close to 11 million Americans currently practice yoga.
The core components of hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:
Poses. Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits.
Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.
Management of chronic health conditions.
Yoga might help with a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, by helping with sleep problems, fatigue and mood. Yoga also can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
See your health care provider before you begin yoga if you have any of the following conditions or situations, since complications can arise:
Uncontrolled high blood pressure
Certain eye conditions, including glaucoma
You may be able to practice yoga in these situations if you take certain precautions, such as avoiding certain poses or stretches. Regardless of your health status, start slowly and gently. If you develop symptoms or concerns, see your doctor to make sure you're getting benefit and not harm from yoga.
Questions to ask the instructor include:
What are the instructor's qualifications? Where did he or she learn yoga, and how long has he or she been teaching?
Does the instructor have experience working with students with your needs or health concerns?
Is the class suitable for beginners? Will it be easy enough to follow along if it's your first time?
What is the focus of the class? Is it aimed at your needs?