Yoga is a series of body positions and movements which stretch and strengthen muscles, calming the mind and relaxing the body. The different forms of yoga may involve meditation, breathing exercises, stretches, dietary restrictions and ethical rules.
There are many styles of yoga, including: hatha yoga, a slow-paced form involving stretching and breathing exercises; ashtanga yoga, a more strenuous form; integral yoga, which focuses on breathing and meditation; Iyengar yoga, which works on body alignment; kripalu yoga, which integrates mind, body and spirit; kundalini yoga, which wakens potential body energy; sivananda yoga, which gives attention to lifestyle as a whole; and viniyoga, which coordinates movements and breathing.
Yoga is excellent for strengthening and toning the body. It releases muscular tension and spasms, improves flexibility, strengthens the heart and slows breathing, and brings a sense of well-being. Doing yoga regularly can help control blood pressure, brain waves, metabolism, and body temperature. As a result, yoga is helpful in treating many health problems, including anger, depression and anxiety; arthritis and chronic back pain, high blood pressure and heart problems; fatigue; and addiction.