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What Is Yoga?
Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means “to unite or integrate,” yoga has been practiced on the Indian subcontinent for more than 5000 years. It is now an integral part of traditional Indian medicine, Ayurvedic medicine. Yoga poses, movements and meditations are a means of improving body, mind and spirit, bringing them into union with one another for better overall health and wellness.

Yoga is all about harmonizing the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing techniques (pranayama), yoga postures (asanas) and meditation. In some cases there might also be hand gestures (mudras) and chanting (mantras).

For example, most people who know anything about yoga know gyan mudra, forming a circle with the index fingers and thumbs of each hand, with the first joint of the index finger underneath the thumb. They also know the mantra OM. Both gyan mudra and OM help focus the mind and improve concentration during yoga practice.

Certain types of yoga emphasize perfect asanas, while others focus on moving the energy in your body so you can access it like tapping into an inner battery to achieve what you wish in life. Still others are physically demanding in order to lose weight or get as fit as possible as quickly as possible.

In this guide we will be looking at yoga that anyone can do, no matter what their age or level of fitness, for the purpose of dealing with specific health and fitness issues. If you are struggling with arthritis, chronic pain, or depression, there are yoga poses and meditations that can help. If you want to increase strength, balance and flexibility, all yoga poses can help with this. You will be able to avoid slips, trips and falls and any broken bones that may result, keeping you mobile instead of stuck in a bed or chair.

In terms of fitness goals, you might be struggling to lose weight. You might also wish to get better abs, or a more solid core, in order to improve strength and posture and relieve back pain. Best of all, you don’t even have to leave your house to get a great workout with yoga once you know how.

It is fun to take a class to learn from the teacher and socialize with others, but if you don’t have time, are on a tight budget, or live in a place where the nearest studio is miles away, you can still get a great yoga workout at home. There are DVDs and online lessons, great websites full of photos of poses and advice, and much more, to help you expand and deepen your practice to achieve the kind of results you are looking for from the yoga poses you do for your specific health goals. The poses you will find in this guide will also be suitable for a regular daily yoga practice to stay fit.

Now that you know what yoga is, it’s time to look at all the benefits of yoga for your health and fitness.

Benefits of Yoga For My Health And Fitness
A regular yoga practice can awaken the power within and become the gateway to the kind of life you’ve been dreaming of. There is no need to feel stuck in a rut when yoga can open up all sorts of possibilities in your life even as you open up body and mind.

Yoga increases:
o Physical Wellness
o Energy Levels
o Flexibility
o Range of Motion
o Long Lean Muscle
o Stamina
o Mental Abilities
o Memory
o Concentration
o Self-Esteem
o Strength
o Pride in One’s Efforts
o Cell Rejuvenation
o The Strength of Your Immune System
o Social Skills if You Attend Classes