What is Yoga?

Yoga is a mind and body practice with a few thousand years history in ancient Indian philosophy. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. In more recent years, it has become popular as a form of physical exercise based upon poses that promote improved control of the mind and body and enhance well-being. There are several different types of yoga and many disciplines within the practice. This article explores the history, philosophy, and various branches of yoga. Yoga is a system that helps people to discover and unleash their potential power through increasing the awareness of the body and mind. Yoga can improve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual by practicing consistently.

History of Yoga

There is no written record of the inventor of yoga. Male yoga practitioners are known as yogis, and female yoga practitioners are called yoginis. Both practiced and taught yoga long before any written account of yoga came into existence. Yogis passed the discipline down to their students, and many different schools of yoga developed as the practice expanded its global reach and popularity. In 300B.C. Indian sage Patanjali combines all the yoga histories, practices, poses into the “Yoga Sutra”, which is the earliest written record of yoga and one of the oldest texts in existence and provides the framework for all modern yoga. Yoga Sutra is a guidebook on how to master the mind, control the emotions, and grow spiritually. Yoga is well known for its postures and poses, but they were not a key part of original yoga traditions in India. Fitness was not a primary goal. Practitioners and followers of yogic tradition focused instead on other practices, such as expanding spiritual energy using breathing methods and mental focus. The tradition began to gain popularity in the West at the end of the 19th century. An explosion of interest in postural yoga occurred in the 1920s and 1930s, first in India and later in the West.

Risks & Effects

Yoga is low-impact and safe for people when a well-trained instructor is guiding the practice. Injury due to yoga is an infrequent barrier to continued practice, and severe injury due to yoga is rare. However, consider a few factors before starting. Anyone who is pregnant or who has an ongoing medical condition, such as high blood pressure, glaucoma, or sciatica, should talk to their healthcare practitioner before practicing yoga. They may need to alter or avoid some yoga poses. Beginners should avoid extreme poses and difficult techniques, such as headstand, lotus position, and forceful breathing. When using yoga to manage a condition, do not replace conventional medical care with yoga or postpone seeing a healthcare provider about pain or any other medical problem.


Yoga is a five-millennia-old practice that has changed over time. Modern yoga focuses on stretches and poses designed to stimulate inner peace and physical energy. Ancient yoga was less about fitness and more about mental focus and expanding spiritual energy. The Yoga Sutra, now considered to be the definitive guidebook to practicing yoga, came into the practice 2000 years ago. There are many different types of yoga depending on what people want from it and a person’s current level of physical fitness. However, some people choose to replace conventional treatment for conditions with yoga and this can prevent a person from receiving the necessary care. People with certain conditions, such as sciatica, should approach yoga slowly and with caution. Yoga can help support a balanced, active lifestyle.