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 nikoslado on Tue, 26/07/2022 - 15:49


referring to the preparation exercise, wouldn't be better and more expectable, after a definition having an ''-ing'' form or an adjective, to expect us to find another similar part of speech (an -ing form or an adjective) with the same meaning. Or it could be written -for example-''[the state of] being able to ''balance''.
Does it make sense in English what I'm trying to say?
Many thanks to all of you

Hello Nikos,

That's a good point. It's always difficult to balance clarity, completeness and simplicity. In this case, we chose simplicity.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by arashjahanbakht on Mon, 18/07/2022 - 03:18


I'm in the B1 level, but I can easily understand all your B1-level articles and solve their tasks. Shall I shift to the B2-level articles and adapt to them? I've recently seen some B2-level articles, I can understand these articles easily again, but sometimes the new words are so challenging for me.

Hi arashjahanbakht,

Yes, that sounds like the right thing to do!

A level (e.g. B1) is a general category for a person's overall language proficiency, including all areas of their language, so it's quite common to have some particular areas (e.g. vocabulary, reading) that are stronger (or weaker) than the overall level.

Good luck with it!


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by chuyenbs on Sat, 18/06/2022 - 04:25


It's no doubt that yoga has positive impact both physical and mind. I think the most important, Yoga is easy to do with all of ages and occupations. In some cases, Yoga is one of method which Doctors recommend for treatment like Muscular pain or sleep disorder.

Submitted by Hmawe Theint on Sat, 09/10/2021 - 09:56


I think yoga is the best exercise to improve your mind and body. I have started yoga in January 2020. Now, my mind is really calm and relaxed. What's more, I lost weight almost 10 pounds! So, I highly recommend to do yoga!!!

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Sun, 01/08/2021 - 04:29

In my opinion, yoga is the best exercise to us. Because yoga have all the benefit such as weight loss, reducing stress, and balance our stamina. If we join to do yoga we definitely get more impacts for our body, mind and emotion. Yoga help us to keep balance our daily activities. Yoga make us feel more healthier to do some hard works such as pulling the big box in work place. Yoga also push to keep a smile with our friends, family members and society. Furthermore, yoga reduce our stress level to zero. Yoga is the best exercise to keep us more healthier and stay positive.

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Sat, 03/07/2021 - 06:36

I think doing cardio exercises and yoga make me fresh and active.It can help me to reduce stress and to fit my body.

Submitted by loyda Guzman on Mon, 22/03/2021 - 15:41

I think that doing sport in any way that is practiced helps the mental and physical health but doing yoga is the best exercise to combat stress.

Submitted by Gustavo Woltmann on Sat, 20/03/2021 - 07:27

I love doing Yoga. I have been doing it for a couple of years and I really enjoy it! It is a great to start or end the day.

Submitted by hchansinilo on Thu, 11/03/2021 - 16:17

I tried yoga since pandemic comes this year, and its really fun! At first i think yoga can help me to lose weight, but it also reducing stress and boost my stamina. And yeah i feel so relaxing and enjoy my day!

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Tue, 23/02/2021 - 13:29

In my opinion, yoga is the best exercise to us. Because yoga have all the benefit such as weight loss, reducing stress, and balance our stamina. If we join to do yoga we definitely get more impacts for our body, mind and emotion. Yoga help us to keep balance our daily activities. Yoga make us feel more healthier to do some hard works such as pulling the big box in work place. Yoga also push to keep a smile with our friends, family members and society. Furthermore, yoga reduce our stress level to zero. YOGA IS THE BEST EXERCISE TO KEEP US MORE HEALTHIER AND STAY POSITIVE.

Submitted by Rad on Sun, 10/01/2021 - 12:30

actially I ve been always concerned with this Yoga thing. But now it is obviously clear. And personally speaking, i would go for the so-called Laughter Yoga because it seems just nice as I appreciate laughing - which is great for our health. besides, stress is Killing people today, then what in earth would prevent us from relaxing and practice some breathing exercises.
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Submitted by danisep on Mon, 04/01/2021 - 21:14

I think that have correct and proper breathing is good for our health, and sometimes we have a bad one. I think that it is interesting to do it to reduce stress and improve our breathing because if I want to get strength and stamina I prefer to go to the gym.

Submitted by rahul rebari on Tue, 22/12/2020 - 14:14

if you want to over come your stress you must do yoga every day yoga is very good for health as well as your inner peace

Submitted by Khemry on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 04:39

Yoga is the best exercise for me

Submitted by lorenzo92 on Sun, 12/07/2020 - 07:02

I am not doing yoga, but I'm reading a book which is Inner Engineering written by Sadhguru, its a book which is related to Yoga, there are lot of variety of yoga, and explain the connection between you and the earth. So I think frist you will have to understand this connection, after it you should practice yoga, and it will be more effective!

Submitted by Fayaz Ahmad on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 12:59

I have seen it in movies particularly in Indian films but never tried it, hope will do it under an experienced trainer to kill my anxiety and obesity Lol.

Submitted by mohnuriman on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 09:52

the article is so interesting. knowing much more about yoga with a clear explanation. I really agree that yoga makes it healthy for people who want to increase their stamina and reducing stress. I often see many people have been doing yoga together on Sunday morning. for me, it is a great choice for everyone!

Submitted by kalyani perera on Sat, 27/06/2020 - 12:29

I want to improve my English

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.

Submitted by VoHoangHuan on Sun, 23/06/2019 - 04:49

For me, There are lots of kind of exercise to do that are quite good for your heath, for example: running, swimming, work out, gym. I often go running in early morning and then doing yoga when I go home, I think it is really helpful to improve your strength of body and stamina. These exercises also help me to become more calm and confident and also relief stress as well. If I can not get up early in the morning, I will choose to go swimming or to do work out at home in the afternoon for 30 minutes. As I know doing exercise regularly will keep my body strong and fit, I try to maintain them everyday.

Submitted by Praveen kumar on Fri, 21/06/2019 - 15:50

I love do yoga and it is really keeping me fit and healthy too and I am beginner for yoga I do simple positions and soon I learn much about yoga because not only for physically fit it actually make us mentally fit is a way of fun and joy and it needs some concentration.

Submitted by yodgorkenjayev on Fri, 21/06/2019 - 13:48

With yoga, a mountainous, ornamental flower, a tree-rich place, that is, in nature, makes the person feel relaxed and physically healthy.
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Submitted by Liz on Fri, 21/06/2019 - 06:59

Hello, I definetely think that yoga is one or maybe the best kind of activity that can help people to be strong and to know himself. When you are concentrated and paying attention to your breathing you are in harmony with your body and your mind you reach and you see the things and everything in a different way. I started to practice yoga five months ago and I can say that's a veru good activity because you appreciate the moment and you enjoy being just with you, you are calm and there is just you and your mind, your breathing for me it's vere good. I don't want to say that yoga is an exercise because I thing that is an activity like each other where you need to be concentrated and doing things conciously, unfortunately we don't do it all the time. Yoga is more than un exercise this would be a way of living, I think.

Submitted by padilla.gabriel on Tue, 18/06/2019 - 21:14

Dear all, Yoga is a good activity to improve your health, but honestly speaking I recommended practice as a exercise run 3 or 4 times per week. You will have a better Stamina, humor sense, better physical condition, etc.