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The term Yoga has a few meanings Its both a school of thought in the Hindu religion and a system of mental and physical exercise developed by this school All forms of yoga originated in India People who follow this school and practice any form of yoga are called yogis or yogins Students study under prolonged and careful guidance of the teacher known as the guru The first syllable gu in Sanskrit means light the second syllable ru means light A guru is a spiritual teacher who leads the pupil from darkness to light Literally yoga means the union of mind and body In Sanskrit the language of India yoga means discipline Many people in western countries practice some form of yoga exercise in hope of improving their health and achieving peace of mind Various forms of yoga have become popular in Europe and the United States Transcendental Meditation is a simplified version of the yoga of Hinduism Bhakti-Yoga involves the dedication of all actions and thoughts to a chosen God Hatha-Yoga stresses difficult bodily postures and breathing techniques It has become very popular as a method of gaining and improving health Certain people also study this form of yoga because of the control they develop over certain bodily functions A new concept in fitness combines gentle stretching with techniques from Hatha Yoga to perform the most effective relaxing ways of exercising It is called Yogacise There are other forms of yoga that are practiced in India There is Prana Yoga Brahma Yoga Kriya Yoga Kundalini Yoga Raja Yoga and Tantra YogaYoga is used for many purposes From cleansing the body to activating the nervous system to improving ones intelligence or sex life Stretching in yoga is quite relaxing There are perscribed positions known as asanas In our society Hatha Yoga seems to be the most commonly practiced Hatha derived from two Sanskrit roots Ha means sun and Tha means moon The
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