September is National Yoga Month, designated by the Department of Health and Human Services, to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.
Yoga originated in India around 5,000 years ago. Hatha yoga, popular in America, is one of the yoga paths meant to transform the body so a person will be more able to grow spiritually.
Yoga itself is not a religion or a system of beliefs, but is a set of techniques that can allow anyone to find their own spirituality.
Hatha yoga uses controlled breathing exercises called pranayama (pran-e-yama) and postures called asanas to produce deep relaxation.
Teachers of yoga believe that through the spiritual quest associated with yoga practice, one will also gain health, happiness, tranquility and knowledge. Yoga is frequently used to enhance the ability to meditate.
There are many schools of yoga, so no two yoga teachers or yoga classes will be alike. It is estimated that there are more than 200 different yoga asanas, so the combinations are endless.
For more information, visit the yoga health foundation.