Yoga has been practiced around the world for centuries, but the popularity of yoga has only begun to increase in the United States over the past 15 to 20 years.

While many people continue to use yoga as way of staying fit and healthy, many others are beginning to use yoga in addition to conventional practices as a way of healing what ails them.

"It was like a miracle after only a few classes," says Jane Saltzman, instructor at Arizona Power Yoga.

Saltzman, who suffered from severe chronic lower back pain for 25 years, wandered in to Arizona Power Yoga on a whim four years ago, and has since become an instructor after acquiring the physical and mental benefits of a regular yoga practice.

Research has shown yoga can relieve pain in the back and other sensitive areas of the body, and new studies suggest it can benefit those suffering from depression, stress and arthritis.

For Patricia Lebenshon, director of Integrative Medicine in Residency at the University of Arizona, yoga was a way to supplement conventional medicine during her recovery from cancer.

"I go to yoga, two classes about four to five times a week, and I also have a home practice that I do," says Lebenshon, who adds that everyone from elementary school students to senior citizens have now begun to use yoga as a preventative and healing measure.