Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on flexibility, strength and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing. The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago, and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways.
Many scientific trials have been published on yoga. While there is scope for more rigorous studies on yoga's health benefits, most studies suggest that yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. There is some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.