Improve Your Health With Yoga Exercises

Yoga can provide an effective alternative form of physical exercise for people who cannot participate in strenuous workouts or are limited by medical conditions. It can also be an excellent way to improve overall health and well-being for individuals of all ages.

Increased flexibility is one of the most obvious benefits of yoga. As you practice, seemingly impossible poses become possible as tight muscles relax and loosen.


When performed regularly, stretching exercises can help improve posture and flexibility. They can also improve balance and increase mobility. Flexibility is important because it helps prevent injuries by allowing muscles to move through their full range of motion. Flexibility can also prevent muscle fatigue and improve joint health.

Stretching often involves breathing deeply and steadily while performing the exercise. This synchronization of breath and movement promotes relaxation and mindfulness. Yoga also places a strong emphasis on breath awareness, fostering a deep connection between mind and body.

In contrast to static stretching, yoga focuses on moving through series of poses that build relationships between muscle groups. For example, the tight hamstrings may be loosening up by meeting the glutes, lower back, and psoas muscles in yoga exercises that involve a hinge at the hips.


When you’re stressed out, it can help to stop and take a deep breath. This is what yoga teachers call pranayama, a form of breath control that reduces tone in the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and activates the parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest” response).

Some yogic breathing exercises have scientific support, but most require guidance from a teacher. Bhramari, the humming bee breath, is said to modify brain responses through resonance of the hums. It also reduces pitta energy and cools the body.

Sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with a tall spine. Take a few natural, slow breaths in and out through the nose. Then, inhale deeply through the nose to expand the belly and rib cage. Exhale strongly through the mouth, emptying first the belly and then the rib cage and chest. Repeat 10 times. This calming exercise has been shown to reduce blood pressure, as well as heart and respiratory rates.


Yoga’s emphasis on posture, flexibility and coordination can improve balance and proprioception — the ability to sense one’s position in space. In a study, yoga participants who regularly practiced the poses demonstrated better balance than people who did not do yoga.

Strengthening exercises can help increase stability in the legs, core, arms and back muscles. Many yoga styles — especially those that feature longer hold times, such as Iyengar and Forrest yoga — challenge the muscles by using props to make it possible to stay in a pose for longer than normal.

Practicing yoga also strengthens the heart muscle and may improve cardiovascular health. In addition, breathing exercises may lower stress and promote circulation.


Practicing relaxation techniques can help reduce muscle tension and stress, lower blood pressure and control pain. Some examples of these exercises include tensing and relaxing different muscle groups, guided imagery or meditation and deep breathing exercises. Relaxation techniques can be done on a regular basis or only occasionally to improve a person’s ability to deal with physical and mental stress.

Yoga can help with posture, flexibility and coordination. It also helps you become more aware of how your body moves and feels, which can make it easier to notice when you’re slouching or straining your back, for example.

Yogis believe that stretching, breathing and relaxation exercises can lead to a state of calmness and serenity known as samadhi. Western physiology supports this by linking movement and breath through synkinesis, the involuntary relationship between one body part and another. For instance, bending over into pigeon pose causes your spine to lengthen and stretch while you’re simultaneously focusing on your breath and relaxing your muscles.