Yoga is a full-body workout that increases flexibility, endurance, strength, balance and mental clarity through the use of postures, breathing techniques and concentration. It combines muscle strengthening and toning with flexibility and stretching exercises as well as breathing and meditation to attain maximum results. It is an exercise and meditation regimen that some people even consider to be a lifestyle.
Yoga helps correct posture by increasing core strength and by encouraging correct alignment. To increase strength and endurance, participants practice holding static poses for longer periods of time. The mind and body exercise regimen requires the practitioner to focus on breathing. This helps reduce stress and anxiety and encourages relaxation and a sense of calm. According to WebMD, yoga is linked to lowering blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as improving the immune system.
There are many kinds of yoga, including Vinyasa, Hatha, Iyengar, Bikram and Ashtanga. Every style and every teacher is different. Yoga students typically find a yoga class that suits them but also practice every day on their own to get the best results. There is no age limit on who can practice yoga. Classes are offered for everyone from children to seniors.