Yoga is becoming more and more popular around the world. What exactly is it, where did it come from and what are the health benefits of doing yoga?


Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

What is yoga?

Most people know yoga as a kind of exercise which aims at developing strength and flexibility. To practise yoga, you learn a series of ‘postures’, where you put your body into different positions. The correct breathing is also important. However, yoga is really about more than just exercise. In 2014, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, asked the United Nations to create an International Day of Yoga, saying that yoga ‘is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature’. He felt that yoga could not just help people to be healthier but also help connect people to each other and to nature. The United Nations agreed, and International Yoga Day is now celebrated on 21 June.

Where did yoga come from?

The history of yoga goes back at least 5,000 years, and some people claim it is nearer 10,000 years ago. It was first developed in Northern India and at this stage was a spiritual as well as a physical form of exercise, connected with both Hinduism and Buddhism. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, yoga was introduced to the Western world when Swami Vivekananda travelled to the United States to talk about yoga at a conference in Chicago in 1893. Others followed in the 1920s and 1930s, and by the 1960s yoga had become a very popular form of exercise in the United States and in Europe. Most people who practise yoga today do not do it for spiritual reasons.

What are the benefits of yoga?

Yoga is good for the mind and body. Regular practice of yoga helps people to improve their balance and stamina. Although you won’t really get out of breath, like you might playing football or running, it does help to keep your heart healthy and you can lose weight. It can also help with back pain.

The breathing taught in yoga can help people to reduce stress and anxiety. There are lots of different possible breathing patterns you can do. Yoga also improves concentration and helps people to sleep better, so it’s great for anyone who’s under pressure at work or in their studies.

Different types of yoga

There are lots of different types of yoga, so you can choose what suits you best. Hatha Yoga is often good for beginners, because you hold each position for a few breaths. In Vinyasa Yoga you change position much more quickly and you might get out of breath. It’s quite challenging if you haven’t done much yoga before. Bikram Yoga is sometimes called ‘hot yoga’, because the room must be heated to around 40 degrees. As well as these and other more traditional forms of yoga, there are also some more unusual modern forms of yoga. For example, you might enjoy ‘laughter yoga’, where people do breathing exercises and laugh about nothing in particular – laughing is very good for your health. Or what about ‘Aeroyoga’, where you do yoga while you are hanging from the ceiling? It’s supposed to be very good for your back. Or ‘Doga’, where you do yoga together with your pet dog?

Whatever kind of yoga you choose, there are definitely some health benefits, and you should have fun too.



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Submitted by Julia19 on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 10:04

I am sure that the best practice for the stress release is yoga. I' ve been doing yoga classes almost every morning for three months and it helps me to feel myself more calm and peaceful . To increase my strengt I do sometimes exercise with weigts. The most simple way to improve your stamina and fitness is running or active cardio workout. But if you want to get just fun from your workout you can try a dance workout which is quite common on youtube last time. Combing all these types of activies makes me feel healthy , strong and flexible.

Submitted by Selin on Mon, 22/06/2020 - 06:01

Taiji, a traditional kind of exercise in China, can give people all those four benifits. Personly I think Taiji is very similar to Yoga. And there are also many different types of Taiji , but always named by the Family who first founded it, such as the ChenShi Taiji. But Taiji is little bit difficult for begginer. Yoga is more popular and more famous than Taiji around the would. I practice Yoga almost every day, hope one day I can find a teacher who can teach me Taiji.

Submitted by kral.kat on Sun, 21/06/2020 - 19:58

There are lots of kinds of exercises and all of them worth trying. However, I believe the best one for reducing stress is yoga because it's done slowly and itś focused on breathing and we all know breathing helps to reduce stress. On the other hand, the best exercise for building strength is not yoga. It may be weightlifting. If you want to build strength, improve your fitness, stamina and simply have fun while working out, I can recommend CrossFit. It unites all the named parts and you will also become a part of a community which will help you with motivation. I do CrossFit for about 4 years and I am still in love with it and I talk about it all the time (because that's what CrossFit people do, haha).
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sun, 07/06/2020 - 20:12

The best kind of exercise for all is yoga.

Submitted by bawk san aung on Sat, 31/08/2019 - 10:33

I don't where anxiety come from. Whenever i feel being, I can concentration nothing. The final though i think is doing the exercise is the best way to become stamina. So, I do gym, like in hear. Not only fitness but also strength in mind is got by doing this. But my cousin sister don't choose doing gym but yoga. It has been 5 years doing yoga. And now she is doing as a guiding yoga.She said that yoga is the best for her in reducing stress; not only for building stress but also improving fitness and stamina.

Submitted by parisaach on Tue, 13/08/2019 - 07:28

In my opinion a good exercise should be included all of these items. Many people do exercise to lose weight or to be strong, In fact most of the sports aim in physical benefits, but when you love doing your exercises it definitely has spirtual effects in your life. I have tried many types of sports, swimming, tennis , darts, etc, but the one that I really like and I do now is karate. Karate is everything, it helps you be strong, be flexible, defend yourself, etc. I find really good friends in my karate classes, so we always have fun after class or during our exercises. It also helps me to reduce stress and forget bad events of day. Sometimes when I don't feel good I go to my classes and after the class I really forget everything. I think all kind of sports has physical and spritual benefits, If you do them correctly and motivately
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Submitted by TP on Sun, 07/07/2019 - 05:18

It is obvious that yoga can reduce stress, build strength, improve fitness and stamina and have fun. I do yoga almost every morning. I also like jump roping because it improves fitness and stamina. I also enjoy gardening. Gardening also a great way to be fit and you can connect with nature.

Submitted by Kavi on Sun, 07/07/2019 - 05:16

I think yoga is the best for everyone.We can maintain our health by doing yoga.
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Submitted by randyjay on Sun, 07/07/2019 - 05:15

i like yoga very much and i all so recommended marshal arts to grow our fitness and strength.