Yoga is a mind and body practice with a 5,000-year history in ancient Indian philosophy. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.
In more recent years, it has become popular as a form of physical exercise based upon poses that promote improved control of the mind and body and enhance well-being.
In the modern world, the South Asian art of yoga has expanded to all corners of the globe. While it is now a popular form of exercise and meditation, this has not always been the case.
Yoga is a five-millennia-old practice that has changed over time. Modern yoga focuses on stretches and poses designed to stimulate inner peace and physical energy.
Ancient yoga was less about fitness and more about mental focus and expanding spiritual energy. The Yoga Sutra, now considered to be the definitive guidebook to practicing yoga, came into the practice 2000 years ago.
To convey its spiritual message and guide sessions, yoga often uses the imagery of a tree with roots, a trunk, branches, blossoms, and fruits. Each “branch” of yoga represents a different focus and set of characteristics
The six branches are:
- Hatha yoga:This is the physical and mental branch designed to prime the body and mind.
- Raja yoga:This branch involves meditation and strict adherence to a series of disciplinary steps known as the “eight limbs” of yoga.
- Karma yoga:This is a path of service that aims to create a future free from negativity and selfishness.
- Bhakti yoga:This aims to establish the path of devotion, a positive way to channel emotions and cultivate acceptance and tolerance.
- Jnana yoga:This branch of yoga is about wisdom, the path of the scholar, and developing the intellect through study.
- Tantra yoga:This is the pathway of ritual, ceremony, or consummation of a relationship.
There are many different types of yoga depending on what people want from it and a person’s current level of physical fitness. However, some people choose to replace conventional treatment for conditions with yoga and this can prevent a person from receiving the necessary care.
People with certain conditions, such as sciatica, should approach yoga slowly and with caution.Yoga can help support a balanced, active lifestyle.Each week, MyHealthNewsDaily asks the experts to answer questions about your health.This week, we asked exercise researchers and nutrition specialists: Does yoga help with weight loss?