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Gain inner peace through yoga; 50 PLUS.

MORE than 5,000 years after Yoga originated in Asia it is more popular than ever.

In today's stressed-out society, thousands are partaking in Yoga exercise classes to try and gain inner peace and outer strength.

It has become a favourite with stars such as Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Trudie Styler and Mariel Hemmingway and Lulu - and just look at the shape they're in.

So Lulu is looking great, but what can yoga do for you?

Apart from well-defined muscles and a strong, lean look, yoga has many other health benefits. It is said to boost the immune system, can be used to control asthma and help reduce bronchial infections. Back pain can disappear and digestive problems can be relieved.

Yoga can also give you the best night's sleep you could wish for. And more seriously, researchers at the royal London Homeopathic Hospital have shown that it can even help cancer sufferers with rehabilitation.

To the yoga novice, it seems that there are hundreds of types of yoga. Well there are. It is worth noting that you may find in your local health club there is just "yoga" on offer.

This is probably going to be Hatha yoga, which is the umbrella name for most of the different kinds of yogas listed below. And as ever, be careful! Remember to check with your doctor before embarking on new exercises.

Lyngar - This is the most methodical form of yoga, with precise poses. Good for building muscular strength.

Sivananda - This style focuses on stretching and realising and aims to achieve a positive attitude. Meditation is key.

Ashtanga - Often referred to as "power yoga", this is fast and strenuous. It is not the first type of yoga you should try. It is great for muscle tone and reducing fat.

Bikram - The room is heated to 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the class and the yoga is centred on the physical elements rather than chanting.

Kundlaini - This is the least physical form of yoga, it is based around chanting and involves a great deal of intense breathing. Good for beginners.

To find out where your nearest teacher and class is, take a look at the Wheel of Yoga website or call 01529 306851.The British Wheel of Yoga is the governing body for the UK.

One of the best ways of getting started is to go on a yoga holiday. They are fun and a great way to meet new people. Make sure you have a proper health check by your doctor and check the level of the holiday with the person who is actually taking the course (not the person taking the booking), before you go.

Ask your yoga teacher for information or take a look into Holistic Holidays at or call on 020 8241 3880.


BENEFITS: Yoga sessions have helped celebrities Madonna (left) and Lulu (right) look great; STRENGTH: Yoga will give you well-defined muscles and a lean look
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Title Annotation:Supplement
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 21, 2001
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