Yoga has been around for thousands of years, but as of late it has become more popular than ever. Generally speaking, yoga is a method of exercise that brings together cosmic consciousness, the divine, and universal spirit.
Coming from the Sanskrit word meaning union or yoke, yoga consists of mental and physical exercises to bring together the three aforementioned points.
From a mental perspective, yoga uses meditation and controlled breathing to lead to a more disciplined mind. In order to take full advantage of yoga and its many benefits it is best to practice in a quiet place.
On the physical side of things there are many postures that are used during a yoga session, these are known as asanas.
These postures are used in order to increase blood flow and to strengthen the body, particularly the spine. Through proper blood flow it is thought that yoga can lead to increased performance within the bodily systems.
The origins of yoga date back to India, and some experts feel that this system has been around for approximately 5,000 years. In fact, many artifacts showing yoga postures have been dated back to 3000 B.C.
In the late 1800s yoga finally made its way to the United States. Although going relatively unknown for many years, in the 1960s yoga began to gain traction thanks to an increased popularity in Eastern religion and philosophy.
In todays day and age millions of Americans do yoga on a regular basis. This number has been estimated as high as 10 million.
There are four types of yoga with each one combining to form a system for physical, spiritual, and mental well being. To go along with this there are eight limbs.
Although yoga originated in India thousands of years ago it has just recently become a mainstream way of life in the United States. With many benefits, both physically and mentally, the number of Americans doing yoga is sure to continue to increase.