Yoga was originally practiced in Hinduism; it was meant to improve Karma by putting the body in stressful positions.
Meditation is to place oneself in a higher state; and as far as I know, was first really practiced in Hinduism as well, although in theory, anyone could have sat and cleared their mind and reverted to a higher state at any time.
As for relieving tensions, there’s more science to that than I know of, but stretching does help relieve tensions in the body.
There are many different types of Yoga. Ideally it should be about the indivdual finding peace and relaxation, but also pushing the body to the limit. There are simple exercises you can do, to get a feel for it. Some of them squeeze the liver and massage the other internal organs to help the body.
An easy one is to lie on the floor and raise your head up, using your hands as support, then raise your bum in the air and have your arms and legs straight like a bridge. This is upward and downward dog.
It might be best to go to an instructor who can check you are doing it right and then you have a lovely ten minute relaxation at the end, which is cool 😉
Meditation originates from either the Daoist or the Buddhist practice, helping the practitioner toward Enlightenment. Extracting or modifying the spiritual component of the practice reduces it to yoga that one does in the gym. However, yoga does help to promote peacefulness and longevity. In Falun Gong practice, not only one gains inner peace and longevity, one also grows his capacity in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, opening of vision, wisdom and clear mind.
The process of meditation, method and exercises are explained in the ‘Falun Gong’ book. Guided meditation demonstration video, meditation music, and books about Falun Gong are free to download from the URL listed below. If you need any help, contact a local practitioner in your area for free instructions.
Falun Gong is a unique Buddhist School, found in 1992 by Master Li Hongzhi in China. About 100 million people practice in over 80 countries worldwide. Falun Gong is an ancient practice for the body, mind, and spirit based upon the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. Falun Gong consists of five sets of powerful exercises.
Falun Gong, Tibetans, other Buddhists, and Christians have been persecuted in China. The most offensive human right violation is the organ harvesting from the Falun Gong practitioners in China.