Yoga is an ancient exercise (over 5,000 years old) that focusses on strength, flexibility and breathing to promote well-being. It can help improve balance and posture. It tends to work on endurance by holding certain positions and is fantastic for enhancing flexibility. Yoga differs from Pilates as it tends to work on whole body strengthening but is less focussed on the core specifically. It also has a greater emphasis on the mind and well-being.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Dozens of scientific trials of varying quality have been published on yoga. While there’s scope for more rigorous studies on its health benefits, most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. There’s some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.