The Benefits of a Yoga Routine

Yoga is a great way to strengthen your body, improve flexibility and even relieve constipation. It is also a good way to reduce stress and anxiety.

Begin on all fours, hands under your shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Arch your back and tuck in your tailbone to move the breath into your lower belly.


There are many types of yoga, and each has a different focus. Hatha yoga, or hat-ha, is generally slower paced and more focused on stretching poses like Downward Facing Dog and Boat Pose. It emphasizes the breath as a driver of motion, and each pose is held for several breaths. It’s great for beginners or anyone looking to stretch deeply. Another popular yoga type is Vinyasa yoga, or vn-ysa, which emphasizes flowing from one pose to the next as if you were dancing.

Another traditional form of yoga is Ashtanga yoga, which is fast-paced and emphasizes performing a set sequence of postures, like Sun Salutations, in every class. It also requires the ability to synchronize movement with breath, says Monal. Iyengar yoga is a more regimented style that concentrates on perfecting the form of each pose and uses props — like blocks, straps and bolsters — to support the body. 29% of respondents chose Restorative yoga as their favorite yoga style, which involves gentle stretches that are held for longer periods of time.


Yoga strengthens the body in multiple planes of movement and improves flexibility. It also builds endurance and increases cardiovascular-respiratory fitness. It also helps balance the body’s internal systems by decreasing stress and improving mood and sleep quality.

In addition, a number of studies have shown that yoga decreases anxiety and depression. However, it’s unclear whether it’s the yoga itself or simply the fact that participants are exercising on a regular basis that has this effect.

One of the benefits of yoga is that it helps people become aware of where they hold tension in their bodies. It can help them release this tension through breathing techniques and meditation.

In addition to this, it can help increase core strength and improve posture. It can also help ease chronic aches and pains, such as back pain or fibromyalgia. Practicing yoga can also improve sleep quality, especially for those with insomnia. To practice restorative yoga, lie down on your mat and place a block (at any height) behind you, with your sitting bones on the floor next to the block and your spine lengthening towards it.


Yogis often see pictures of yoga poses and assume that the poses look easy, but many are actually quite difficult. Fortunately, students can take it slow and build up to the poses over time, or make use of props like a block or blanket.

For example, when a student is struggling with Crow Pose (Bakasana), a block placed where the forehead might hit the mat can help prevent falling flat on one’s face. Adding additional padding also helps build up core strength.

Another modification for beginners involves using a block to change the angle of a pose. In Triangle Pose, for instance, a block can be placed to the side and at any height in front of the right foot. Students can then shift their weight into the left leg and stretch out through the right arm, focusing their drishti toward a point to aid in balance. This pose will strengthen the hip flexor and glute muscles without overworking the shoulders.


Practicing yoga can help you learn to calm your mind, relax your body and control your breath. It can also teach you how to focus on one thing at a time and let go of stress that can be difficult to manage.

The popular YouTube instructor Adriene Mishler is a great choice for newbies to the practice with her calming voice and salt-of-the-earth attitude. She offers a wide range of yoga videos in lengths for every ability and her website is easy to navigate. Its homepage directs you to subscribe to her weekly newsletter and offers key words of wisdom.

Dylan Werner is a popular yogi that offers online classes and workshops. His site is easy to navigate and his tool bar is helpful for finding what you’re looking for. He also has a winter 8-week 200 hour teacher training program.