Yoga is an ancient form of physical and mental exercise that is still popular today. It involves lots of stretching and holding poses with funny names, like "downward dog."

The kind of yoga that most westerners practice is based on "hatha yoga," the most familiar part of a complex Hindu system of meditation and spiritual practice. Yoga is an extremely popular form of exercise today, but it's been around for centuries. The word yoga was first used in English around 1820, when western intellectuals were first becoming interested in Hindu philosophy — it's a Sanskrit word that means "union."

Definitions of yoga

n Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility that is achieved through the three paths of actions and knowledge and devotion

Type of:
Hindooism, Hinduism
a body of religious and philosophical beliefs and cultural practices native to India and based on a caste system; it is characterized by a belief in reincarnation, by a belief in a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils

n a system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind

hatha yoga
yogic exercises (popular in the West) that combine difficult postures (which force the mind to withdraw from the outside world) with controlled breathing
Type of:
exercise, exercising, physical exercise, physical exertion, workout
the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fit

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