Essay by suejohnson17University, Master'sA+, August 2003

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Yoga is one of the most effective practices to integrate the physical body consciousness to the spiritual consciousness. The exercises of yoga are designed to put pressure on the glandular systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. Using breathing techniques - based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the body, the yoga student gently increases breath control to improve the health and function of the body and mind (Christensen) p.2). These two systems of stretching and breathing then prepare the body and mind for meditation. The student then finds an easy approach to a quiet mind that allows silence and healing from daily stress. Regular daily practice of all three structures of yoga produce a clear mind and a strong body (Rajneesh)p. 54).

At the core of almost all schools of yoga lies the practice of meditation (Feuerstein)p.4). Yoga seeks to give a new sense of identity by enlarging our inner horizon.

In addition to this great ideal, yoga also recognizes a variety of secondary goals, such as physical well-being, moral integrity, and social service and harmony (Cope)p.1). Yoga is probably the world's most perfect form of exercise. It cultivates cardiovascular health, and usculoskeletal strength and flexibility, without the painful and damaging side effects of high-impact aerobics. It tunes up every organ system - respiratory, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, lymphatic, and nervous, with regular yoga practice you breathe better, sleep, and digest food better (Francina)ps. 11-14). Regular practitioners of yoga describe a whole host of subtle transformation in their lives, changes that seem more mysterious, more difficult to quantify and even describe. Many experience moments of sharply increased mental focus and clarity, and heightened perceptual and intuitive power (Cope)p.12). The techniques developed by the yogis to transcend also help us strip away...