CDC says yoga is common complementary routine for healthy living

If your Atlanta yoga classes have been feeling a little crowded lately, it's for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more and more Americans are taking up yoga and other complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) for healthy living.

In a recent issue of its National Health Statistics Reports, the Atlanta-based agency stated that yoga is one of the most common CAMs in the U.S. It estimated that 6.1 percent of all CAM users take advantage of the mind-body routine.

This number represents an increase from the last time the CDC measured CAM use. In 2008, the organization set the figure at 5.1 percent.

Why the increase? Well, the agency notes that yoga is a light-intensity exercise method, meaning it is easy on the joints and, as a CAM, may be relatively safe for people of all ages and health levels.

"Generally, persons who choose CAM approaches are seeking ways to improve their health and well-being or to relieve symptoms associated with chronic…illnesses or the side effects of conventional treatments for them," the CDC explained.

No wonder the Yoga Journal estimated that nearly 16 million Americans practice yoga.

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