National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

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Yoga

Yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy. The various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. There are numerous schools of yoga. Hatha yoga, the most commonly practiced in the United States and Europe, emphasizes postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama). Some of the major styles of hatha yoga are Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vini, Kundalini, and Bikram yoga.

The 2007 National Health Interview Survey found that yoga is one of the top 10 complementary health approaches used among U.S. adults. An estimated 6 percent of adults used yoga for health purposes in the previous 12 months.