The meaning of the word yoga translates to "union." The ancient rishis who gave us yoga considered stretching, balancing and flexible exercise an opportunity to experience union with God. Such a union with the Source of being wasn't a painful experience, since God was viewed as natural, peaceful and gentle. Even as you stay in a space the size of a small mat, you attain the same kind of benefit as other, more punishing exercise regiments but without the pain or exertion. Yoga is a great workout for the entire body—particularly the joints, muscles and even internal organs—but especially for the mind.
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