Yoga is a vast collection of spiritual techniques and practices aimed at integrating mind, body and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe. What is normally thought of as "yoga" in the West is really hatha yoga, one of the many paths of yoga. The different paths of yoga emphasize different approaches and techniques, but ultimately lead to the same goal of unification and enlightenment.
A regular yoga practice can cleanse the tissues through muscle stretching and massaging of the internal organs. Scientific studies have shown that the practice of Yoga has curative abilities and can prevent disease by promoting energy and health. That is why more and more professionals have started using Yoga techniques in patients with different mental and physical symptoms, such as stresses and different diseases.
Though yoga’s ultimate aim is lofty, its essence is practical and scientific as it emphasizes direct experience and observable results. It is not a religion, but a practice of personal inquiry and exploration. Yoga exercises can help improve strength and flexibility, reduce stress and increase circulation in several muscle groups. Yoga has been practiced in the Far East for thousands of years, and continues to be a popular health and fitness activity in the West.