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Yoga: the power of the pose [news]

Who would have thought that a 5000-year-old style of movement would become more popular in Australia than Australian football? According to the Bureau of Statistics, more people take part in weekly yoga classes than they do in our national sport. And for good reason. ''All forms of yoga, meditation or tai chi, any gentle movement, helps to reduce pain or your perception of pain,'' says Dr Sam McCarthy, an osteopath at Sydney's Better Health Clinics ( ''We once thought that yoga made muscles longer alone, but we've now discovered that the poses make them wider, and the act of stretching actually feeds back information to your central nervous system. This in turn stimulates your muscles to become stronger around a point of weakness.''