More people in the West are turning to yoga now to keep themselves fit physically as well as mentally.
"Yoga provides a good feeling and enormous satisfaction," Kumud Schramm of the German yoga association said// .
"If you practise yoga regularly you become more alert and are not thrown out of balance so easily," said Schramm, who runs a yoga school in Frankfurt.
For the past two years, there has been a real yoga boom with prominent stars like Madonna and Laura Bush, wife of US president George W. Bush, leading the way.
Yoga, in Sanskrit, means unity of body and spirit.
"Yoga promotes physical and mental balance in a society that is becoming more stressful," Schramm said.
As the popularity of yoga has increased in Western countries, a part of yoga's spiritual tradition has been lost, says yoga teacher Christian Fuchs.
"Several strenuous physical yoga forms have been developed in the US but most of these do not really lead to the path of concentration and meditation, the real essence of classical yoga," he says.
Professor Ingo Froboese, head of the Cologne Sport University's centre of health, says Asian body arts can help in relaxation, strengthen muscle system and improve the heart and circulatory system.
Yoga teachers should be able to prove their qualifications. A visit to India is not enough. Schramm warns that yoga can also be harmful to the heart-circulation system or the ligaments, if they are overstretched.
The yoga expert sees a continuing booming market for certain groups like old people or employees at the workplace. Yoga for pregnant women and children has been on offer for years.
"Business yoga for managers is really popular," according to Schramm.
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