Yoga Exercises For Strength and Flexibility

Yoga is an effective form of exercise, but it’s important to talk with your GP before starting any new fitness routine. Especially if you have heart disease, check with your doctor before beginning this exercise program.

Many of the poses require you to hold your body weight, which increases muscle strength over time. A good yoga practice also helps to keep your spinal disks supple.


A yoga workout can help you strengthen your core and improve balance. Yoga poses often require that you support your body weight with your hands, which can work muscles that aren’t worked as hard in other strength exercises. Poses that require you to hold a position on one side of the body, like Dolphin Pose, can also strengthen your shoulders and forearms.

As you practice yoga, you’ll gradually build strength and endurance. As you progress, it’s important to warm up before doing a series of strenuous yoga poses to prevent injury and so that you can perform the pose correctly.

Beginners will develop strength naturally by practicing a wide range of yoga postures regularly. However, intermediate and advanced yogis may wish to focus on particular muscle groups for an increased workout. To achieve this, a yoga instructor can recommend poses that have longer hold times, such as Chair Pose. This position challenges the back and leg muscles, while helping you to learn patience with a workout that feels like it will never end.


Flexibility exercises are a vital part of yoga. Even postures that seem easy to do, like cat-cow, are a great exercise for the muscles in your back, neck, shoulders and core. This is because you’re holding each pose for 30 seconds to a minute, giving these muscles quite a workout.

Yoga stretches the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia. These soft tissues may shorten over time with age and inactivity, limiting the flexibility of nearby joints and muscles.

Studies have shown that regular yoga practice can help increase a person’s flexibility. In addition, it has been found to reduce stress levels and improve balance and endurance. A yoga practice can also improve the quality of sleep, decrease menopause symptoms and promote healthy weight management. However, before you begin any new exercise program, talk to your doctor. This is particularly important if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. A doctor can help you determine whether yoga is an appropriate activity for you.


Breathing exercises are a critical part of yoga practice, helping to deliver oxygen to the body and control the mind. Some breathing techniques can also be helpful in managing a wide variety of health conditions, including asthma and high blood pressure.

One well-known yoga breathing technique is Ujjayi breathing, a diaphragmatic breath that starts in the lower belly and rises through the rib cage to the upper chest. This type of breathing, which is done through the nose, creates a soothing ocean sound as air passes in and out of the lungs.

Another type of yoga breath is Kapalbhati pranayama, also known as the “hissing” breath, which involves short explosive exhales and long inhales. This yoga breathing exercise helps reduce pitta energy in the body while increasing concentration. While research is limited, anecdotal reports suggest that this breathing technique can also help with gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. However, anyone who has an underlying health condition should consult their doctor before practicing this breathing exercise.


Many yoga exercises help to relax the body and mind. These exercises, combined with mindful breathing and a healthy sense of acceptance, have been shown to reduce stress levels and increase feelings of calmness and well-being. In addition, regular practice of some types of yoga can improve sleep quality and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep when a person goes to bed at night.

One of the main relaxation yoga poses is Downward Facing Dog. The physical benefits of this yoga pose include strengthening the shoulders, thighs and calves while stretching the hips, back and arms. However, the mental benefits of this yoga exercise are perhaps even more important. This relaxation pose activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows heart rate and breathing and decreases blood pressure and muscle tension. As you relax in this yoga posture, your brain releases hormones that make you feel good and can even reverse the effects of long-term stress.