Yoga is ofen compared to a tree, with roots reliably 30 yoga poses for weight loss traced at least as far back as to 2600 years BCE,3 a strong trunk, 30 yoga poses for weight loss and many branches that are still growing. If you go to a yoga class today, and when you do what is described in this book, you will be practicing a branch of the tree known as Hatha Yoga, the system of physical exercises that strengthen and stretch the body. The word Hatha refers to balancing opposite forces in the body. Within Hatha Yoga are many styles that have been developed by leading teachers; what we offer in this book is inspired directly by both Iyengar Yoga and Anusara Yoga, but it originated in antiquity.
These styles are within the mainstream of yoga’s long tradition but contain contemporary innovations informed by them. Do we have to forego Western medical treatment in order to practice yoga? Absolutely not. The impressive accomplishments of Western medicine are built on the rational and empirical bases of Islamic, Indian, Greek, and Chinese medicine. Yet the West has turned more and more intently to the Eastern ways of life, and Western medicine has an ever-growing interest in Eastern methods of treatment and cure.