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The term Yoga has a few meanings. It's 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 Yoga.

Yoga is used for many purposes. From cleansing the body, to activating the nervous system, to improving one's intelligence or sex life. Stretching in yoga is quite relaxing. There are perscribed positions known as asanas. In our...