Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice
Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.
Traditional yoga philosophy requires that students adhere to this mission through behavior, diet, and meditation. But if you’re just looking for better stress management — whether because of life’s daily hassles or a health problem you’re facing — and not an entire lifestyle change or way of life, yoga can still help.
Yoga has many styles, forms, and intensities. Hatha yoga, in particular, maybe a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and some beginners find it easier to practice because of its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences.
The core components of hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:
Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits.
Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy.
Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.
The health benefits of yoga
The potential health benefits of yoga are numerous and may include:
With its quiet, precise movements, yoga draws your focus away from your busy, chaotic day and toward calm as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration.
As you learn and refine new poses, you may enjoy improved balance, flexibility, range of motion, and strength. And this means you’re less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
Management of chronic health conditions
Yoga might help with a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety, and insomnia, by helping with sleep problems, fatigue, and mood. Yoga also can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
If you’re overweight or have binge-eating disorder, yoga may help you make the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to gain control of your eating and drop those extra pounds.
While you shouldn’t expect yoga to cure you or offer 100 percent relief, it can help some health conditions when combined with standard treatment. And if you already enjoy good health, yoga can be an enjoyable supplement to your regular fitness routine.