Combining physical postures, breath control and relaxation, yoga provides a comprehensive workout for the mind and body. While some practise yoga as a way of working towards the ultimate goal of spiritual realisation, it is perfectly possible to do it simply as a means for relieving stress or improving overall health, with no special knowledge of the philosophy that lies behind it.
The enormous advantage of yoga is that it can be safely undertaken by almost anyone, even those who are unfit or overweight. Yoga postures move all the major joints through a full range of motion, reducing stiffness and stretching and toning almost every muscle and tendon in the body. In the first instance, it is much better to go to a yoga class run by a properly qualified teacher than to attempt to learn yoga out of books.
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