Yoga has been compared to a tree containing eight ‘‘limbs:’’ yama (universal ethics), niyama (individual ethics), asana (physical postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (control of the senses), dharana (concentration), dyana (meditation), and samadhi (bliss).
According to the National Survey of Yoga practitioners, by Ross et al (2013), yoga has multiple mental and health benefits such as improved energy, happiness, social relationships, sleep, and weight.
Individuals who practice yoga most believe their health improved because of yoga. Yoga might be beneficial for elderly women and those with chronic health conditions.
Ross, A., & Thomas, S.,(2010) conclude from the research done that yoga appeared to be equal or superior to exercise in nearly every outcome measured except physical fitness(where is not completely overpassed in cases of more strenous and complex assanas). The outcomes studied were: in healthy individuals : balance, fatigue, flexibility , heart rate, heart rate variability, menopausal symptoms, metabolic equivalents, stress, total antioxidant status and in diseased individuals: kidney function, pain, psychotic symptoms, sleep disturbance, quality of life, social and occupational functioning , strength, total cholesterol. All those were proven to be better after the yoga practice than the exercise.