The generic term for the mental, physical and spiritual disciplines originated in the ancient India is commonly known as Yoga. The actual concept is that, among the six orthodox schools of the ancient Hindu philosophy yoga is a specific one, which is mainly based on the Yoga Sutras of the Patanjali. Among the followers of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism different forms of yoga are prevalent. The Sutras of Patanjali systematized the diverse practices and the pre philosophical speculations into formal philosophy. Apart from that of the Patanjali, the Hath Yoga also emerged as a prominent and specific tradition of yoga.
Unlike the Yoga Sutra which mainly focuses on the discipline of mind, the Hatha Yoga concentrated on the health and purity of the soul and body. In the late nineteenth century yoga was introduced to the West by the Hindu monks. After 1980, yoga began to gain popularity as a system of exercises all over the western world. Effectiveness of various forms of yoga is still under consideration for the treatment of deadly diseases like schizophrenia, asthma, cancer and some typical heart diseases. According to the national surveys done in the United States it has been found that some long term yoga practitioners have reported improvements regarding mental and muscle skeletal health. Certain forms of Yoga, like hot yoga, also help to lose excess weight.
The literal meaning of the word Yoga is to join or to unite. The person or individual who practices Yoga with the utmost dedication are called Yogi or Yogini. The ancient forms of this art have been modernized so that they can give the maximum benefits to the people. There are institutes where people can get enrolled to learn modern as well as traditional forms of Yoga under the guidance of an experienced teacher.
The names of some of the modern forms of yoga are given as per the name of the person who developed it, for instance, Bikram, Sivananda Integral, Satyananda, the ever popular Iyengar Yoga etc. It can also be seen that some forms of Yoga have been developed by people belonging to a certain area for instance, Tibetan Yoga etc.
In the present day scenario one can come across different DVDs and CDs on Yoga prepared by various famous Yoga trainers. However, it is important to remember that to practice Yoga in the right manner one has to remember certain facts, like proper posture, the right type of breathing techniques etc. Therefore a beginner should always practice under a trainer who can assist him with the proper guidance.