DIET&FITNESS Published September10, 2014 By Staff Writer

September: National Yoga Month

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(Photo : joel nilsson)

The popularity of yoga and its lasting benefits have inspired Americans to declare September as National Yoga Month. This celebration aims to spread the knowledge about yoga's health benefits and promote it as a practice. This national observance was designated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Yoga Health Foundation has listed various activities happening for this month, such as one week's worth of free yoga. This is open to anyone interested in learning more about the practice, and is offered at different localities throughout the United States. Other activities are listed at Yoga Health Foundation's official website.

Yoga's popularity encompasses a wide range of interests, from fitness to spirituality, and is practiced by people of all ages. According to Dr. Herbert Benson, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, over 35 million adults in the United States use mind-body medicine for better health.

Yoga traces its roots from ancient India. Today's practice has evolved into suitable styles for Western yogis. Emily Ritter of Channel Signal wrote that contemporary practice seems to be more focused on the physical benefits of yoga, rather than the internal advantages on our psyches.

In early 2014, Channel Signal released the statistics of yoga's development in the United States, revealing that over $27 billion is spent annually on yoga products in the country. In terms of increase in yoga participation, a rate of 29% was observed from 2008 to 2012. Also, it is expected that from this year up to 2017, an annual increase of 4.8% will more or less be observed in the industry revenue of yoga.

The rapid growth of yoga is generally understandable, as yoga does offer a multitude of benefits to the mind and body. Several studies have proven that yoga helps in reducing conditions such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension, discomfort of breast cancer treatment, symptoms of menopause, chronic back pain, and arthritis.

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