Introduction Yoga

Yoga is a complete science that anyone can practice. This ancient system of integrating physical, mental, and spiritual well-being is the most widely practiced health system throughout the contemporary world. People are drawn to yoga for many reasons, but the most common reason given is to keep the body and mind supple.

The yoga postures in this blog exercise the entire body and tone and stretch muscles and joints. The yoga breathing exercises presented will calm and revitalize the mind as well as fine-tune concentration.

Yoga has several branches, and chapter 1 explores these various branches before introducing hatha yoga, the most widely practiced yoga system in the West. The Smart Guide to Yoga has as its primary focus the hatha system. This first chapter as well defines yoga and dispels common myths and interpretations that sometimes surround yoga. A very brief history of yoga and the foundation for yoga practice segues into the health benefits yoga offers.

Chapter 2 explores hatha yoga more deeply and delves into the differences and similarities of the various hatha systems one might discover when ferreting out a yoga class.

The next chapter is devoted to pranayama, the life force or energy that is the invisible link to all yoga practices. Pranayama is a science. Simply said, it is the science of breathing correctly. Since stress affects our breath, we conclude this important chapter with some breathing exercises, complete with visuals to aid you in your practice.

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