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Benefits of Yoga - Why Yoga Exercise is Good for You

Benefits of Yoga - Why Yoga Exercise is Good for You Yoga books tell us that Yoga, as we all know, is aimed to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit. Yogis view that the mind and the body are one, and that if it is given the right yoga kit and tools and taken to the right environment, it can find harmony and heal itself. Yoga therefore is considered therapeutic. It helps you become more aware of your body's posture, alignment and patterns of movement. It makes the body more flexible and helps you relax even in the midst of a stress stricken environment. This is one of the foremost reasons why people want to start Practicing Yoga - to feel fitter, be more energetic, be happier and peaceful.

Yoga is a science that has been practiced for thousands of years. It is consists of Ancient Theories, observations and principles about the mind and body connection which is now being proven by modern medicine. Substantial research has been conducted to look at the Health Benefits of Yoga - from the Yoga Postures (Asanas), Yoga Breathing (Pranayama), and Meditation. The information on Yoga Poses & Benefits are grouped into three categories-physiological, psychological, biochemical effects. Furthermore, scientists have laid these results against the benefits of regular exercise.

Physiological Benefits of Yoga

  • Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium
  • Pulse rate decreases
  • Respiratory rate decreases
  • Blood Pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors)
  • Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases
  • EEG - alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation)
  • EMG activity decreases
  • Cardiovascular efficiency increases
  • Respiratory efficiency increases
  • Gastrointestinal function normalizes
  • Endocrine function normalizes
  • Excretory functions improve
  • Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
  • Breath-holding time increases
  • Joint range of motion increase
  • Grip strength increases
  • Eye-hand coordination improves
  • Dexterity skills improve
  • Reaction time improves
  • Posture improves
  • Strength and resiliency increase
  • Endurance increases
  • Energy level increases
  • Weight normalizes
  • Sleep improves
  • Immunity increases
  • Pain decreases
  • Steadiness improves
  • Depth perception improves
  • Balance improves
  • Integrated functioning of body parts improves

Psychological Benefits of Yoga

  • Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  • Mood improves and subjective well-being increases
  • Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase
  • Social adjustment increases
  • Anxiety and Depression decrease
  • Hostility decreases
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Attention improves
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Mood improves
  • Self-actualization increase
  • Social skills increases
  • Well-being increases
  • Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  • Self-acceptance increase
  • Attention improves
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Symbol coding improves
  • Depth perception improves
  • Flicker fusion frequency improves

Biochemical Benefits of Yoga

  • Glucose decreases
  • Sodium decreases
  • Total cholesterol decreases
  • Triglycerides decrease
  • HDL cholesterol increases
  • LDL cholesterol decreases
  • VLDL cholesterol decreases
  • Cholinesterase increases
  • Catecholamines decrease
  • ATPase increases
  • Hematocrit increases
  • Hemoglobin increases
  • Lymphocyte count increases
  • Total white blood cell count decreases
  • Thyroxin increases
  • Vitamin C increases
  • Total serum protein increases

Yoga Health Benefits versus Exercise Benefits

Yoga versus Exercise

  • Yoga Benefits
    • Parasympathetic Nervous System dominates
    • Subcortical regions of brain dominate
    • Slow dynamic and static movements
    • Normalization of muscle tone
    • Low risk of injuring muscles and ligaments
    • Low caloric consumption
    • Effort is minimized, relaxed
    • Energizing (breathing is natural or controlled)
    • Balanced activity of opposing muscle groups
    • Noncompetitive, process-oriented
    • Awareness is internal (focus is on breath and the infinite)
    • Limitless possibilities for growth in self-awareness

  • Exercise Benefits
    • Sympathetic Nervous System dominates
    • Cortical regions of brain dominate
    • Rapid forceful movements
    • Increased muscle tension
    • Higher risk of injury
    • Moderate to high caloric consumption
    • Effort is maximized
    • Fatiguing (breathing is taxed)
    • Imbalance activity of opposing groups
    • Competitive, goal-oriented
    • Awareness is external (focus is on reaching the toes, reaching the finish line, etc.)
    • Boredom factor

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Article Comments
Yoga Newbie
Friday 20th August 2004 at 6:31:35 AM  

Hello everyone! I don't know if this is the correct place to post this, but I was wondering if anyone would mind giving me their personal feedback/experience with the health benefits of yoga. I'm in fairly decent shape for a 55 YO from outward appearances, but I can literally feel myself deteriorating rapidly as I move into this older age category. And stress...need I say more? Hence, my investigation of yoga. From all that I've read, the potential positives are great, but I'd like to here from actual practitioners.
Also...and I hope I word this long does it take to incorporate yoga into part of your daily routine? How long does it take to begin to feel the positive affects of yoga practice? I have some videos, but would you recommed a "home program" or should I take classes? Any other feedback or things I should know about? Also...can pilates and yoga be done at the same time or should I choose just one?
Obviously newbie questions, but I appreciate all thoughts on the subject. Thanks!

Monday 8th November 2004 at 4:44:17 AM  

I have done the basic course of 'Art of living" by Shri Shri Ravishankar. I practice pranayam and 'sudarshan kriya' a powerful breathing technique, daily without fail, after which I do 'shavasana' for 10 minutes. Yesterday , I saw brilliant yellow light which was getting transformed into orange and red for sometime and then would dissappear and then whithin seconds it would appear again. It was brilliant, I saw with eye closed. What does it signify? please comment.

Tuesday 6th December 2005 at 10:56:58 PM  

I was wondering if I could use this article on my website with full acknowlegement of the sources including link. My website is

Thank you,
Cathy Breshears
Manipura Yoga Studio

Tuesday 1st January 2008 at 9:08:50 AM  

Hi, I hope that my answer will help you in your quest.
You're the one who decides on how to incoperate yoga into your life. I've done yoga poses, breathing and meditation since I was about 8 years old. I grew up in a military family and was introduced to parts of it from other kids at school. I'm now almost 50 and have shared this with others for years.
I have found that doing the sun salutations first thing in the morning helps to ease me into the day. Depending on what I'm doing throughout the day and how I'm feeling, I will do some seated stretches and breathing to reduce stress and/or pain. (A side note here. I was involved in a horrific collision with a drunk driver that has left me with various limitations.) I have worked in offices and as a professional driver and have developed routines that I was able to do at work to help me stay loose, retain my posture and reduce injuries or pain from sitting and repetetive motions.
Everyone is different so you may feel some benefits sooner. Ability to handle stresses, a more positive outlook, just a feeling of balance can ease into your existance without you really noticing. The release of toxins from your system will improve your immune responce, and your sence of balance and your muscle tone will also get better. Joint stiffness and some of your everyday aches and pains will decrease over time.
Videos are great if the weather keeps you from getting out, just have several so you don't get bored. Classes are wonderful for having a chance to learn new things, get a better understanding of things, and to meet like-minded people. The book "Yoga" by Erich Schiffmann is a great resource as it has pictures of the different poses and different routines based on your level. You can do other exercises as well. Most exercise programs that I have used recommend some form of stretching before working out, sounds like a short yoga session would fit this need. This loosens the joints and warms the muscles so that you are less likely to be suffer injuries. Remeber your breathing. As you exercise, your breathing helps to force toxins out of your system so that you will have less muscle fatigue and pain after your workout.
As you progress in yoga, you may want to look into Ashtanga (Power Yoga) or even try Bickram (Hot Yoga). Just realize that these are very physically demanding and you will want to check with your doctor to make sure that you won't suffer any health crisis from them. I find that I get a great workout from doing my Hatha yoga and I have been creating my own routines to keep it interesting and stimulating. I'm even looking at starting a class for couples sometime this year.

Monday 5th May 2008 at 10:14:17 AM  

Nice article. Also read ..

Friday 22nd August 2008 at 10:01:55 PM  

I Think good health come from food benefis and yoka(Exercise)

Tuesday 16th September 2008 at 9:46:42 PM  

I just started yoga about a month ago and I was very skeptical. After the first two visits I fell in love with it! I have alrways been very unflexible and it has gotten worse over the past few years. Yoga has really helped tone my body, increase flexibility and I always feel great when I leave my class! I attend CoreYoga 2-3 times per week. I would recommend attending at a yoga studio and not a gym or at home because you get the entire experience in a warm, quiet, relaxing environment. Good luck to you. KD

Thursday 19th March 2009 at 7:48:46 AM  

I felt the difference after 2 months of learning yoga.
If the yoga master is good you can feel the effect from the first day itself.
Right from the first month you can see the results and become part of regular life.

Yoga must learn from a yoga master for the full benefits of Yoga.
Self learning will not be effective.
Learn Hatha yoga, this is my experience.

Start with yoga basic course.

Selecting a good yoga master is very important.

Vam Yoga

Friday 7th August 2009 at 1:23:06 AM  

Hi, I''m a yoga buff. I''ve been practically doing yoga for more than 20 years now. Please check out my blog about yoga on my blog site.

sabi khan
Monday 17th August 2009 at 2:10:06 AM  

wow! Yoga is a wonderful path to those who have given hopes for the healthy life. I have taken it very seriously and doing yoga asnas daily for 40 minutes and enjoying the life in its full. Thanks to those who brought awareness to THE YOGA

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Monday 31st August 2009 at 5:36:32 AM  

Yoga is a wonderful path to those who have given hopes for the healthy life. I Think good health come from food benefis and yoga(Exercise). designer watches

Gail Grannum
Wednesday 2nd September 2009 at 12:51:48 PM  

September is National Yoga Month. This is a great month to increase your awareness of wonderful benefits of yoga.

This article does an excellent job of listing the wonderful benefits from practicing yoga. I hope that it will inspire new practitioners. If you just get started, you can immediately feel energized!

Wednesday 16th September 2009 at 6:02:19 AM  

I read your whole article and I loved your article. Yoga today is very important in people’s life. Today there is work load and stress at work place so for reducing this stress yoga has become necessary. It keeps the people fit and fine away from all the health problems. And I have some good yoga tips at

Tom Allinder
Tuesday 20th October 2009 at 9:12:55 PM  

Sometimes I do not understand myself. For the last week or so I have felt terrible. I work 12-14 hours a day in a very stressful busienss and never take any time for me- I spend all day serving others. This evening, I went and did a 1 hr and 15 min yoga practice. I feel great now! All kinds of energy, dullness and listlessness is gone... Somehow I have to make time for this daily! This is a great article and so many of the benefits can be seen by doing just one practice...

Monday 28th December 2009 at 7:15:28 PM  

I have been to Yoga class two time and I like it and I feel really good after class. but the next day I am sore and I am in pain all over.why How can that be?

Wednesday 30th December 2009 at 10:54:23 PM  

your sugestion is very help full for me to stress remove in student life

Wednesday 27th January 2010 at 6:00:51 AM  

Yoga and Cardio are both beneficial. It perplexes me that it would imply a Cardio workout is ''boring'' to simply encourage the practice of Yoga. Oh and, if you''re worried you''re going to get yourself hurt on a tredmill, then maybe you should wear that clip ;)
I love Cardio and Yoga equally, and don''t see any reason to favor one over the other, personally. All I''m saying is nerfing one activity to favor another is just biased.

Tuesday 9th February 2010 at 4:41:49 AM  

recently i have watch a new yoga instruments for eyes excerise.

Tuesday 9th February 2010 at 4:41:55 AM  

recently i have watch a new yoga instruments for eyes excerise.

Tuesday 9th February 2010 at 9:21:27 AM  

Try BIKRAM YOGA ..its the BEST! Not an easy yoga to
practice ..but reward comes with challenges in our
lives.... Namaste

Monday 22nd February 2010 at 4:18:48 PM  

I practice Yoga all the time! Great benefits to my daily life. Are there any good resources showing the actual Research for the benefits listed above? I would love to read some of the studies to see how they set up the design and analyzed the data. (i''m a science nerd too!)

yoga for beginners
Tuesday 23rd February 2010 at 5:40:18 AM  

Yoga helps a person a lot concerning his health. Just enjoy and keep your mind from anxiety and problems. Learn Yoga and feel life naturally.

Monday 8th March 2010 at 11:56:43 AM  

or you can try moksha yoga, there are modifications so beginners can practice as well as advanced students all the while experiencing the same benefits

Thursday 8th April 2010 at 5:48:16 PM  

Yoga newbie - you''ve taken one good decision when looking into the yoga practice. I''ve been practicing for a while now - about 4 years - and it has really helped me in multiple ways. I''d recommend you to look for a yoga studio first, not a gym. I''m currently practicing Ashtanga yoga, which I''ve found to be the best of all (for me). Within this practice there''s even one ''style'' called the Mysore style (after it''s city of origin), which is a self-guided practice with adjustments from your teacher. Look into it if you''re curious.. you won''t regret it.

Thursday 6th May 2010 at 3:36:44 PM  

I''ve been practicing Yoga for 4 years and I''m an elite athlete. The Yoga helps my muscles recover faster and helps me stay injury free.

yurtdisi egitim
Monday 24th May 2010 at 6:55:02 AM  

I''ve just started yoga but i didn''t know that has many benefits, thanks for information

steves zushi
Sunday 18th July 2010 at 12:59:36 AM  

i was looking for benefits of yoga and expecting just a few. but I came across this article and i found a lot. tnx for this. great post

Monday 26th July 2010 at 8:24:20 PM  

Hi there! Great article. I''ve been thinking about dieting lately, and I thought perhaps yoga might make the process more bearable. One question: is it absolutely necessary to have a yoga instructor? Because I''ve been looking online, and there are plenty of yoga vids for beginners.

Tuesday 27th July 2010 at 5:30:23 AM  

is it true that yoga is based on belief to eliminate other types of religion? like christianity and muslim forexample i have heard from local places pliiiiz reply me as soon as possible i will be glad to hear from you am your greatest fan.lilyan

Monday 16th August 2010 at 10:31:28 AM  

hi there!iam suffering from pco for last 10 yrs sometimes ihad a stomach pain ,mood swingsjoints pain so pls help what diet is helpful and yoga.

Thursday 26th August 2010 at 3:31:20 PM  

Hi Everyone,

I need help. I don''t know if this is the right place to post this but I don''t know who else to ask and I am embarrassed to ask my yoga teachers this. I started doing yoga March 2010. Before I started I was 132 pounds. It has been almost 6 months that I have been doing yoga 3 times a week, my diet has not changed ( I have always watched what I eat) and for some reason on the scale my weight has gone up to 140 this normal?? I didn''t think that yoga alone 3 times a week could make your bones that much stronger. this is driving me crazy!! Someone please help me!

ashish dhakad
Friday 17th September 2010 at 4:23:00 AM  

it is so benifited system by this we find our natural good health without any types of draw becks..........................

Tuesday 28th September 2010 at 12:52:57 PM  

yogas cool

Game Development
Tuesday 5th October 2010 at 4:12:52 AM  

Yoga certainly is a great exercise to make oneself fully healthy.

Thursday 7th October 2010 at 9:10:45 AM  

Terribly sorry, but all these benefits are what is yielded by every single martial arts- or athletics discipline.
What does YOGA specifically bring you? I actually DO want to know.

Tuesday 19th October 2010 at 6:24:23 AM  

very informative.

Thursday 21st October 2010 at 11:47:27 PM  

hi i''m Korean.I''ve been doing yoga for 5 years. I''m interested in yoga. I like it very much! I want to talk about what I felt during yoga but I can''t speak English very well . T.T

yurtdisi egitim
Wednesday 1st December 2010 at 4:42:32 AM  

Thank you, man prepared a great article

Wednesday 22nd December 2010 at 6:57:40 PM  

I have extreme anxiety. I have panic attacks as well. I feel like there is not hope in sight to rid myself of this. I just want to feel relaxed and not anxious all the time. Would you recommend Yoga to cure this problem? I just happened to come across this site, and would love to hear from someone who has maybe had the same or knows of someone with the same problems who has used a technique to cure themselves.

Monday 27th December 2010 at 7:10:30 PM  

i think if anything works to alleviate your panic attacks it will be yoga. i too have only just discovered this site and it gives the oppotunity to share the effects and benefits of yoga by all who practice it. although i dont experience panic attacks per se, i do feel my anxiety levels are increased due to having M.S. and since taking up yoga 6 moths ago, i feel the yoga practice has been responsible for a much imroved feeling of well being as well as improved balance and co-ordination when doing everyday activities. keep up with the yoga practice, the feelings of improved well being and reduced anxiety will come with practice. good luck and go well

Monday 3rd January 2011 at 6:43:43 PM  

I have been doing yoga for a while now and it''s certainly not something for everyone however I encourage people to try and see if they like it or not. It isn''t very difficult unless you look for a difficult. So try it if you have worries because you wont regret it.

Thursday 13th January 2011 at 4:45:25 AM  

I am truly new at this but after having a heart attack from an artery spasm my cardiologist strongly urged me to do yoga to help with my anxiety that caused the attack. I am very happy with my decision to try it and my husband is even doing it with me. We have also joined a TaiChi class and love that as well. Yoga does work!

Wednesday 19th January 2011 at 10:16:48 PM  

Thanks to India for giving us Yoga....
Iam a happy person now and is able to control my mind using yoga .It can do wonders. Would like to spend my retirement life in india understanding the universal truth and learning astrology - Sam USA

Wednesday 16th February 2011 at 12:39:21 PM  

Yoga has worked on me in wonderous ways. More than physical advantages, it has benefitted me in psychological ways. It has helped me to get rid of panic attacks and nervousness during situations as well as helped me sleep better at night.

Chetan talati
Sunday 20th February 2011 at 12:16:35 PM  

I have got maximum benefits from yoga. I was having a diabetes 4 years before and it was 425 mg/dl for random checking.Today my random glucose level is 158 mg/dl because of yoga and its big achievement for me that I have been getting this level without having any medicine. My fasting as well as random glucose level is ulmost reach to normal level.This is all because of yoga exercise and of course some diet control on food intake.

Lavinia Scott
Monday 28th February 2011 at 11:29:29 PM  

will yoga poses still continue to hurt no matter how long I do them. I have done power yoga for eight days straight and some of the poses still hurt. When I first began I am still very tight until after around five this normal?

Tuesday 1st March 2011 at 3:00:16 AM  

Yoga and its cleansing practices have proven to be extremely effective for various disorders. It is an ancient practice that helps create a sense of union in body, mind, and spirit. It brings us balance.

Cancer survivors
Friday 18th March 2011 at 10:40:57 AM  

Before I have no idea about yoga.I think yoga just simple move and just give little effect/benefits to our health.thank you to give me brief view to yoga.I''ll try.

Monday 9th May 2011 at 4:30:57 AM  

A good Yoga instructor can tell the exact type of Yoga that a person can do & is benefited the most in their present physical condition. For most basic forms of Yoga, once you learn & master the postures, flow & breathing techniques from the instructor, its very easy to practice at home.

The challenging part is being regular & following a healthy diet. If you happen to give a break of a week or two, your body will not be as flexible as the last time you practiced Yoga.
Good Luck to all the beginners :)

Saturday 4th June 2011 at 1:39:59 PM  

Very glad to have the benefit of your fantastic effort in ...
A good thing your site is in the first page on the search

Friday 24th June 2011 at 9:03:59 PM  

My husband and I started doing Kundilini Yoga by Nirvair Singh Khalsa about three months ago and it''s completely changed our lives. We were full of stress, tension and anxiety before but now we feel peaceful and calm. What it does for the mind, body, and spirit, is nothing short of amazing.

Thursday 30th June 2011 at 2:38:37 AM  

Sunday 3rd July 2011 at 10:03:01 AM  

Yoga is beneficial for the health in ways that modern science is just beginning to understand. Even though it has been applied with therapeutic intention for thousand of years, Yoga Therapy is only just now emerging as a discipline in itself.

Lisa Strong
Monday 8th August 2011 at 1:14:35 PM  

I am very interested in taking yoga so that I am able to focus, and feel at peace within myself. Your information on yoga was very beneficial to me.

Thursday 18th August 2011 at 6:56:10 PM  

I know yoga is a good exercise to relax the mind and body. I see people go to a zen-like state because of this.
One question is, based on the good stuff that yoga can do, how can it improve your memory? Please explain. I''m curious about this information.

Monday 10th October 2011 at 4:57:22 AM  

Hi readers you can try yoga by Dr. swami Dhirendracharya.You can visit is a an excellent yogaguru.

Saturday 15th October 2011 at 7:23:19 AM  

Excellent article on the health benefits of yoga. I have been practicing yoga for two years now and I find it really helps with my flexibility, plus it has improved my running by keeping me injury free for longer.

Wednesday 9th November 2011 at 12:10:11 AM  

I start my day by doing yoga.It gives so much relief to my mind and body.Yoga can cure almost all of the diseases.

Friday 11th November 2011 at 6:39:35 AM  

Symptomen stoppen met roken U vindt hier informatie over de symptomen die optreden na het stoppen met roken en nog veel meer informatie, zoals tips om te stoppen.

Yoga Alexandria VA
Sunday 4th December 2011 at 8:55:18 PM  

This is a great source of information about yoga and for yoga related products. Thank you! It has given me a good resource to model my own yoga website after and some great tips that I can give my readers as well.

Monday 5th December 2011 at 9:51:33 AM  

can it generate my superpower inside me?

Vicky Stewart
Saturday 10th December 2011 at 7:59:16 PM  

Is yoga excellent for anixtey

Saada Algeria
Monday 19th December 2011 at 2:59:05 AM  

I can''t wait to practise YOGA,and I''m sure about it''s good effects on my health. Thanks a lot for these good tips either from the article or the comments.

Cuba Explorer Tours
Monday 9th January 2012 at 3:42:36 AM  

I like doing yoga in the morning because it helps me relax before I start my day

Friday 20th January 2012 at 12:36:37 AM  


Friday 20th January 2012 at 5:09:07 AM  

I started a yoga video this week and my muscles are very sore from it. I have Fibromyalgia and am hoping for less pain than what I get when I lift weights with The Firm.

Saturday 4th February 2012 at 4:04:42 AM  

I started practising Hatha yoga when I was 19 and I am now 32. I have found it to have many benefits- physical, psychological and spiritual. I feel much more at ease with the world when I practise regularly and really notice a change in my physical and mental well-being when I miss it for a while. I initially started with yoga because I thought it was ''easy'' exercise, but have come to understand it as so much more then that, it can actually be quite demanding. I am so glad I began practising yoga and I would encourage anyone with an interest in it to give it a go for a while. I can vouch for its many benefits. I look forward to living with yoga for the rest of my life.

samar kumar basu
Thursday 9th February 2012 at 5:30:18 AM  

yoga practice in the mornig &evening gives me much confidence over my mental & physical fitness. Would anyone suggest me the actual chart of yogasana & meditation suited for me at the age of 55 years in a best way.

samar kumar basu
Thursday 9th February 2012 at 5:30:34 AM  

yoga practice in the mornig &evening gives me much confidence over my mental & physical fitness. Would anyone suggest me the actual chart of yogasana & meditation suited for me at the age of 55 years in a best way.

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