Wellness Benefits of a Yoga Routine

Yoga has been shown to reduce stress, which is one of the leading causes of chronic illness and disease. The physical work of yoga helps to release that stress, while meditation and breathing practices help the mind calm down and relax.

Sit in Child’s Pose, a gentle stretch for the lower back and hips. If the stretch is too intense, try happy baby or supine twist instead.


Strength training builds muscle mass to improve your body’s ability to burn calories and build bone density. Even naturally bendy yogis may benefit from including strength training in their exercise routines. Strength and yoga workouts are complementary activities that help you stay in shape by improving balance, stability and posture.

Arms: Yoga poses, such as downward dog and plank, build upper-body strength, especially if you hold the pose for several breaths. Warrior and crow poses, which involve balancing your weight on the arms, also strengthen these muscles.

Legs: The standing poses in yoga strengthen your thighs and quadriceps. Twisting poses wring out the venous blood in the legs and pelvis, helping to increase levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body’s cells.

Back: Most yoga poses stretch the muscles in the back and improve your posture. But some, like the handstand pose, which requires a strong core and back muscles, build more strength than you would expect from a stretches-based workout.


Yoga is a great way to increase your body’s flexibility. It stimulates and stretches fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, tendons and joints. Tight fascia can restrict movement and cause muscle pain, but regular yoga practice encourages your muscles to move through a full range of motion. Flexibility also improves balance and posture by reducing your risk of injury when moving your body.

Including a few simple poses like the cat-cow and downward-facing dog can help you stretch out your back and spine. In addition to preventing stiffness, these poses can also alleviate mild back pain and reduce stress in the shoulders and neck. Improved balance can help prevent falls and injuries, and it also helps with sports performance. This is because balanced posture requires the use of several different muscles, which can strengthen them over time.

Mental Health

Yoga practices help to calm the mind, reduce stress and promote emotional balance. The physical movements and deep breathing activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which releases’rest and digest’ hormones that can reduce cortisol levels. Yoga also promotes self-awareness and a deeper connection between mind and body, which is important for emotional resilience and wellbeing.

Studies suggest that regular yoga may improve mood by elevating brain chemical levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps to calm neural activity and regulate mood. It may also reduce adversity-related cortisol levels, which can negatively affect mood and lead to anxiety, depression and irritability.

Restorative poses like corpse pose (Savasana) can be a great way to cultivate mindfulness and a sense of emotional well-being. It is often used at the end of a yoga session, as it encourages a restful and relaxed state, ideal for sleep. It may also help to improve sleep quality for those who suffer from insomnia.


Many people struggle with sleep, but there are ways to improve your sleep quality, including practicing yoga. This ancient practice incorporates mindfulness, breathing techniques, meditation practices and physical movement. It has been linked to positive outcomes for many areas of wellness, such as stress reduction, improved mental and emotional health, increased strength and flexibility and weight loss.

A recent study found that long-term regular practice of yoga can improve sleep quality. Specifically, the researchers found that participants who participated in a 14-week yoga program experienced an improvement in both subjective and objective sleep parameters measured with PSG and actigraphy, as well as a decrease in depression and anxiety.

When incorporating yoga into your bedtime routine, make sure to choose a class that is low in intensity. High-intensity classes can increase heart rate and delay sleep onset if done in the hour before bed. A good option is to try a sleep yoga class on Peloton’s platform, such as Evening Unwind, or find a gentle yoga class on YouTube or online.