Yoga is much more than a sort of exercise. The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word 'yuk' which means 'yoke'. It is a process which unites body, mind and spirit. Items discovered during excavations in the Indus valley early last century prove that Yoga was being practised over 5,000 years ago. Anything which has been around that long must have something going for it!
For some, yoga is simply a way of remaining supple, while others use it as a means of regaining their suppleness. The exercises, or postures, stretch your muscles slowly and gently. Everyone works at his/her own speed and no one is asked to do anything which causes discomfort. You can improve the efficiency of any part of your body:
Some people take up Yoga because they have heard that they will be taught to breathe properly. Breathing properly is very important in yoga. All of the postures have specific breathing patterns, without which the postures simply become stretching exercises. Most people breathe too shallowly, using only one fifth of their lung capacity. Just a few minutes of Yogic breathing (pranayama) each day will make you feel more energetic as the extra oxygen in your lungs spreads throughout your body.
Another reason for taking up Yoga is the need to learn to relax. For various reasons, people suffer from stress which leads to irritability, insomnia, lack of concentration, etc. Yoga will teach you to relax and to improve your mind and body so that you are equipped to cope with all of life's problems.