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Yoga is a 5000 old discipline widely practiced even today for its great diversity of benefits. Yoga typically consists of a series of postures, breathing exercises and relaxing meditation. The goal of the practice is to unite body, mind and soul in a balanced harmony, from which the whole body will benefit. The name yoga is derived from the Sanskrit language, where it denotes the joining, union, and competition. There are many different types of yoga and, traditionally, it includes even more self-improving disciplines, of which the postures are only secondary.
Modern yoga
Various types of yoga are practiced even today all over the world. However, hatha yoga, which emphasizes the physical postures, is probably the most popular type. This kind of class is usually available in every local sports center, and it is a good starting point for everyone willing to explore benefits of yoga. More advanced training is typically reserved for yoga spiritual centers, where participants learn meditation, self-control, and other disciplines. Yoga is also used as an alternative therapy, not only in physical therapy but also in the treatment of various stress-related disorders.
Benefits of yoga
Yoga is equally beneficial for healthy and for sick people. Practicing yoga can actually make a huge difference in their lives. It is not only a stretching exercise good for muscular tone and posture, but rather a cleansing practice, which is very important for the treatment and prevention of many disorders.
Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and other motion-restrictive diseases will get the maximum benefit from yoga since it increases flexibility, improves the blood circulation and finely lubricates the joints, ligaments and tendons. This way, the natural motion range of a healthy or disabled individual will significantly improve, reducing the chances for future physical injuries and making the patient move with fewer efforts.
One of the unique benefits of yoga is that it actually massages all of the organs in the body. While holding the yogic posture, the blood circulation to certain parts of the body becomes limited. When the posture is released, the strong flow of blood literally massages the internal organs and glands, improving their function. Moreover, yogic postures will provide complete detoxification since all of the parts of the body will get enough of the blood supply, which is necessary to flush away the accumulated toxins and lactic acid.
In addition, yoga is a great stress relief practice which helps to fight against anxiety and depression and develops the sense of self-awareness. It also helps against the chronic pain and various autoimmune diseases.

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