Yoga uses postures, breath, and proper rest to promote sense of stability and flexibility, both physically and mentally. Yoga classes also may include chanting, meditation, affirmations and more. Postures, called asanas, are different body positions that are held from a few seconds to a few minutes. Yoga postures stretch, extend, and flex the spine. They exercise muscles and joints, keeping the body strong and supple and releasing stiffness and tension. As postures incorporate breath and body movements, they stimulate circulation, digestion, nervous and endocrine systems, restoring health and energy.
Yoga teaches proper breathing, with the use of breathing techniques known as pranayama. Proper relaxation is given the same importance as food, air, and rest, for they are all sources of energy for the mind and body. Yoga not only stretches and squeezes the body's physical structures, but changes the way the energy flows, as well.