Yoga

Yoga began as a spiritual practice, but it has become popular as a way of promoting physical and mental well-being. Although classical yoga also includes other elements,yoga as practiced in the United States typically emphasizes physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana).

Yoga is an ancient and complex practice, rooted in Indian philosophy, that originated several thousand years ago. Yoga began as a spiritual practice, but it has become popular as a way of promoting physical and mental well-being. Although classical yoga also includes other elements, yoga as practiced in the United States typically emphasizes physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana). Popular yoga styles such as iyengar, bikram, and hatha yoga focus on these elements. Several traditional yoga styles encourage daily practice with periodic days of rest, whereas others encourage individuals to develop schedules that fit their needs.

The frequency and duration of yoga sessions vary depending on the condition being treated. In general, studies examining yoga as an intervention have included weekly or twice weekly 60- to 90-minute classes. For some studies, classes are shorter, but there are more classes per week. Classes can range from a single class followed by a home intervention to a weeklong retreat. Most studies encourage home practice.

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