Fitness and Self Help with Yoga

The word ‘yoga’ is originally from the Sanskrit language and began in India some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. By definition, yoga means, to integrate, to become a union or to join.

Some say that the practice of yoga began as part of the philosophical system of India. However, not everyone practiced yoga. Nor was yoga ever a religion.

In the United States alone, roughly some 5 million people practice some form of yoga. As examples, stretching exercise classes and some dance classes often incorporate portions and pieces in their routines that directly are derived from some form of yoga. Plus physical therapists also often advise clients to practice types of therapeutic exercises that contain yoga postures.

There are a variety of types of yoga. Some yoga most often shown on television and at local gyms and YMCA centers plus even at adult education classes is the type called hatha yoga, also known as physical yoga. Others call this type yoga for health, as this same type of basic yoga is also often taught hospital and other medical settings, and many health professionals believe that yoga can be part of a healthy treatment plan today.

This popular form of yoga, hatha yoga, contains three main parts: a series of movements or exercises known as asana, also poses or postures in English, breathing techniques of a variety of types plus relaxation.

How to Get Started with Yoga

Head to the public library, bookstore or online store for audio or video tapes that can offer breathing instruction and relaxation techniques. Or you may consult with a yoga instructor in your area or online. Note that although yoga instructors do not have to be certified, many are through various programs.

Yoga can be invigorating, fun, healthy and relaxing. It is considered by many as a ‘wise way’ handed down throughout many thousands of years. So most find little if any danger in yoga. In fact, most find that with at least a little progress, it brings them freedom and peace of mind.

Here are a couple of tips:

  • With yoga, always make sure to warm up and cool down.
  • Don't exercise outdoors when the weather is too humid, too hot or too cold.