Yoga is derived from the word "yog" meaning union. The union of mind and body forms is the physical form of yoga one can practise. The highest form of yog is the union of soul within a human body and the supreme soul (if you believe something like that exists). A person should be physically fit and mentally alert to lead a happy life.
There are many activites like brisk walking, jogging (or running), cycling, swimming etc., that help in improving and maintaining physical fitness. There are also workouts with weights in a gymnasium that not only improves the fitness but also builds the muscle strength. Martial arts like kungfu, taekwondo, kick boxing etc., not only helps in the physical fitness but also improves the concentration power of the mind. The biggest drawback in all these activites is that they are energy sapping.
For people who are obese, it is hell of a difficult thing to undertake any of the above activities as their knees are unable to take their own body weight and it is next to impossible for them to stretch their bodies. The only exception is swimming as obese people are better swimmers owing to the buoyancy factor. While Swimming, the water doesn't exert pressure on the body tissues and so one can swim for long hours without any harm if and only if they have the stamina to do so.
People working in urban areas are prone to a stressful life because of their eating habits, working habits and sleeping habits. For many of the working class of employees, life is sedentary as they spend long hours on computers, trying to meet the deadlines, coming back home late in the evening, eating junk food and watch television late into the night (as the stress that is built up during the day doesn't allow you to go to bed early) and ultimately waking up late in the morning and then run to the office. An urban lifestyle demands more from ordinary humans.
Performing the postures slowly and retaining the posture for atleast a minute (the activity is called yog asanas) and doing some deep breathing exercises (called pranayama) for 15 minutes a day removes the stress. Please note that the you don't have to manage stress and instead remove the stress by learning yoga. Any human being who is more than eight years old can perform the yoga postures and derive the benefits. Yoga helps lose weight and keep the pyschosomatic disorders like diabetes under control.
The best way out is to undertake yoga classes for a short period of time, learn from an experienced master and keep practising at home for a sustained healthy,happy and stress-free life.
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