Yoga is a complete exercise system developed more than five thousand years ago in India to energize and strengthen mind-body awareness. A time-honored practice, yoga strives to balance physical
health and psychological well-being and to create a sense of inner peace. Devised by ancient sages as a perfect method for self-integration, yoga is today recognized in the West as a potent application for both physical and mental health.
Medical and managed-care facilities around the country are implementing yoga for stress reduction. At Boston’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, Dr. Herbert Benson has devised stress-management methods for relaxation that include yoga and meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, includes yoga and meditation in his chronic pain clinics. Even a few health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have added yoga classes to their health-education programs.
Yoga has become a staple for many spas and is even beginning to segue into the business sector, with many companies now offering lunchtime yoga classes.