It is estimated that yoga is currently practiced by about 2 billion people around the world. Traditional and rather simple "Hatha" yoga has grown over the last century into a multitude of innovative and often sophisticated varieties of yoga. Some of them are quite radically different from the original. There is yoga for children, yoga for pregnant women, yoga for athletes, meditation yoga, power yoga, acro yoga and even dog yoga for dogs....

 Joga boom
What makes yoga so popular all over the world? How did it happen that from the hermetic practice of a selected group of Brahmans in India yoga has become one of the most popular fields of fitness? How did yoga reach practically every corner of the world in all countries, on all continents? Why has it become one of the most profitable branches of the market? In the United States alone, the annual profits from yoga are estimated at more than $9 billion. The popularity of yoga surely lies in its effectiveness. Simple breathing exercises and gentle practice allow us to experience visible change - we start breathing, sleeping better, moving more carefully, taking care of our posture, listening to the body in general.
The first effects are visible surprisingly quickly, and many yoga tools can be easily applied in everyday situations, improving our quality of life and changing our past habits. We often feel better and this is sufficient motivation for further and regular practice, which strengthens the body and mind. We start to listen to our own needs, take care of ourselves and it is easier for us to face everyday challenges - at work, at home, in our relations with our loved ones.

Yoga as therapy
In a centuries-old Indian tradition, yoga has allowed not only to heal and strengthen the body and mind, but also to control its physiology, delaying the aging process, controlling the work of the organs and senses. I remember such an interview with Sting, probably 18 years ago, in which the artist tells how, thanks to yoga, he can have sex for 8 hours... Yoga has power! The question is how we want to use this power. The positive influence of yoga on the body is confirmed in people with metabolic and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes or Hashimoto, but regular practice of asanas, mindfulness and breathing support patients with depression and anxiety disorders. Today, yoga stands not only for difficult gymnastics positions, but above all for work with the body supporting stherapy,
physiotherapy or psychotherapy. Yoga is used by athletes, artists and more and more often also by business people, i.e. all those who want to improve body performance and learn to control the mind, cope with stress and increasing challenges - physical, emotional, mental ones.

The most important thing is that in order to experience the positive influence of yoga, we do not have to bend the body into complicated and breakneck positions - this is just a stereotype.
Conscious and attentive, even the simplest sequences and basic breathing control exercises are available to everyone and prove to be very effective in improving the functioning of our body, and through the body - also our emotions, mind and consciousness.

In the Cooperation Laboratory, yoga is a supporting and very accessible tool - it is not about complicated gymnastic positions, but rather about simple elements of working with the body and awareness of the body. We teach how to listen to the body and respond to its needs. We show how this body can be supported in maintaining balance during everyday activities. We have chosen only simple elements of yoga for our activities. Those which are safe for everyone and which everyone can experience in order to learn something about themselves.

So it is not yoga in itself, but rather its functional tools: breathing and relaxation techniques to help in stressful situations, awareness of one's attitude at work or in everyday activities, attention and concentration when we have to be efficient.

Karolina Krawczyk -Sharma