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Yoga for health


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Yoga (Sanskrit: योग yoga About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) is the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace.[1][2] The term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga (to yoke) or yuj samādhau (to concentrate).[3] The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali defines yoga as "the stilling of the changing states of the mind"[1] (Sanskrit: योग: चित्त-वृत्ति निरोध:). Yoga has also been popularly defined as "union with the divine" in other contexts and traditions.[4]

Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.[5][6][7][6] In Hinduism, yoga is one of the six āstika schools(accepts authority of Vedas)[8] of Hindu philosophy.[9] Yoga is also an important part of Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.[10][11][12]

Pre–philosophical speculations and diverse ascetic practices of first millennium BCE were systematized into a formal philosophy in early centuries CE by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[13] By the turn of the first millennium, hatha yoga emerged from tantra.[14][15] It along with its many modern variations, is the style that many people associate with the word yoga today. Vajrayana Buddhism, founded by the Indian Mahasiddhas,[16] has a parallel series of asanas and pranayamas, such as caṇḍālī[12] and yantra yoga.

India gurus brought yoga to the west,[17] following the succes of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century.[17] In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. This form of yoga is often called Hatha yoga. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma and heart disease.[18][19][20][21] In a national survey, long-term yoga practitioners in the United States reported musculo–skeletal and mental health improvements.[22]

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