Yoga can be defined as a way of life that includes ethical precepts, dietary prescriptions, exercises and other relevant practices. Yoga is also described as a practice for the development of body, mind and spirit. Yoga as a means of spiritual attainment is central to Hinduism and has influenced other religious and spiritual practices throughout the world. Hindu scriptures like the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, theYoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and many others describe the usefulness and practices of Yoga.
There are six branches of Yoga, these are: Hatha Yoga or Yoga of Postures, Bhakti Yoga or Yoga of Devotion, Raja Yoga or Yoga of Self-Control, Jnana Yoga or Yoga of the Mind, Karma Yoga or Yoga of Service and Tantra Yoga or Yoga of Rituals. In India, yoga is seen as a means to both physiological and spiritual mastery. Outside India, yoga has become primarily associated with the practice of asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga (see Yoga as exercise).
Why should we practice yoga? The very precise answer is that yoga makes you feel better. Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation makes you healthier in body, mind and spirit.Yoga makes you live comfortably and without any disease, for a longer time.
For initial learners, yoga is good for what ails you. Intensive research has revealed that yoga helps manage, control or cure anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, stress and other conditions and diseases.