Health Benefits of Yoga Exercises

yoga exercises

Yoga’s gentle stretching and joint movements help ease muscle tension and stiffness. Its use of weight-bearing poses increases strength over time and may prevent osteoporosis or improve its symptoms.

As with any exercise, yoga has risks, including injury and illness. It’s important to follow an instructor and practice safely for your body.


Posture affects your health in many ways. Poor posture can cause neck pain and back problems, and contribute to headaches, especially migraines or tension-type headaches. It can also restrict the lungs, making it difficult to breathe deeply and completely. Good posture can help you perform better in cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, running and swimming, because breathing becomes easier with proper alignment of the musculoskeletal system.

A yoga class with a teacher who focuses on proper alignment can help you maintain good posture throughout the day. You can also work on posture outside of a yoga class by adjusting your sitting, standing and sleeping habits.

In yoga, postures are called asanas. They are part of a practice that includes meditation, breathing exercises and an overall lifestyle. A review of studies found that yoga improves brain function in the areas that control balance and posture (39). It also helps people lose weight, manage stress and achieve healthy sleep.


Yoga exercises strengthen the muscles in the body, including the arms, legs, hips, back and core. They also encourage balance and endurance. Some research suggests that regular yoga can prevent and improve the symptoms of back pain and stiffness.

In addition to building strength, yoga can help with weight loss and heart health. It may reduce blood pressure and improve your mood and sleep. Yoga can even boost your confidence and self-esteem.

If you have never practiced yoga before, start with a beginner class that moves slowly and emphasizes proper alignment. If you have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or balance issues, be sure to tell your instructor so they can provide alternatives and advice. If you are pregnant, you should avoid or modify some poses. Jumping straight into power yoga or a two-hour Ashtanga class could increase your risk of injury and dehydration. Also, if you have glaucoma, you should not do inverted poses.


Flexibility is the ability of muscles and other tissues to functional optimally within a joint’s full range of motion. This allows for proper movement and reduces abnormal stress on tissues and structures that are both around and distant from the site of inflexibility.

Flexibility can be improved through a variety of training methods, including static stretching and dynamic stretching. Yoga incorporates both static and dynamic stretches to help improve flexibility and increase overall joint mobility.

While flexibility is important to your health, it is also important not to overdo it. Flexibility should be balanced with muscle strength and endurance. As a guideline, try to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities each week.

Since flexibility is specific to joints, it’s harder to link it with health outcomes than other more general fitness components. However, some research suggests that lower flexibility is associated with poor posture and increased risk of injury.


Balance is harder to train because it’s not a muscle, but it is important for maintaining your health. It’s especially important in older adults, and some research suggests that yoga can improve balance. In addition, practicing yoga in a group setting can enhance your social life and encourage you to adopt other healthy habits.

Yoga also strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. It’s a low-impact exercise, and positions that require you to lift your own body weight can build strength.

Although a few studies suggest that yoga has positive effects on physical fitness, larger, more methodologically rigorous clinical trials are needed to confirm these promising findings. However, these studies do indicate that yoga may help patients increase their self-efficacy and sense of competence, as well as decrease anxiety, depression, distress and fatigue. These effects are important because they promote better quality of life in patients with chronic conditions. It’s important to talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program, particularly one that increases flexibility and strength in your joints.