Which yoga exercises are most beneficial?

It depends on what your fitness goal are and what you are trying to accomplish. There are many different forms of yoga, each with their own benefits. Yoga as a whole is a fantastic form of exercise that helps improve balance, flexibility, muscle strength, joint stability and proprioception. The different forms of yoga will emphasize different aspects of fitness. Yoga is also unique in the fact that it requires a great deal of mind-body awareness. You must focus on controlling your breaths while moving gracefully performing the movements. I strongly believe that yoga is beneficial to the mind, body and soul!

The most beneficial yoga exercises are different for each person. Because yoga increases flexibility, the best exercises depend on which of your muscles are the tightest and need the most stretching. There are other benefits to specific yoga exercises (for example, twists for stress reduction), so it really depends on what you specifically need. The best way to develop a yoga practice (routine) that is most beneficial for you personally is to schedule some one-on-one yoga classes with an experienced yoga instructor. They can help design a practice that is specific to your needs.

Yoga encompasses a wide variety of exercises and poses that emphasize a wide variety of physical, emotional and spiritual areas depending on the form of yoga performed. If you want to start doing yoga start by consulting your primary medical care provider to make sure you're ready to engage in regular physical activity and then decide which type of yoga is best for you. Certain types like Hatha have a heavier emphasis on deep breathing and holding of mild positions, while Ashtanga yoga more heavily emphasizes deep bending poses and requires a high degree of upper and lower body endurance and strength to perform well. If light flexibility and balance are your goal a gentler form like Hatha might be more effective, if developing high levels of balance, core strength, and totally body strength are your goal a more strenuous form like Ashtanga might be more beneficial. 

Continue Learning about Yoga

Yoga for Rebuilding Trust in Your Body
Yoga for Rebuilding Trust in Your Body
After a heart attack, it can be hard to regain trust in your heart, and for that matter, your entire body. Even though you may have overlooked the car...
Read More
Why is the deep breathing performed during yoga so beneficial?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Deep breathing causes you to focus on rhythmic smooth breathing patterns and will relieve muscle...
More Answers
21 Easy Yoga Poses
21 Easy Yoga Poses21 Easy Yoga Poses21 Easy Yoga Poses21 Easy Yoga Poses
Try these basic yoga poses for a healthier, calmer you. 
Start Slideshow
Try Yoga for Better Health
Try Yoga for Better Health

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.