Top 10 Benefits of Yoga

By Jen Doyle

Yoga is the suppression of the activities of the mind” – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, c. 4th century CE.

Yoga is a mental and physical practice of exercises, poses, and meditation techniques that originated in ancient India about 5,000 years ago. Many individuals turn to yoga to switch up their fitness routine because it is a great workout and strength builder, but there is so much more to gain from this practice far beyond the physical benefits.

Yoga has been described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as the pursuit of the self, by the self, through the self, which I believe to be completely true, at least, it has been true for me. In Sanskrit, yoga comes from the root word yuj, and means to attach, join, harness, yoke. This is referring to the mind-body connection that’s achieved through regular yoga practice.

Yoga is a spiritual, physical and mental process that connects the mind, body, and soul. Through physical health, mental health and clarity of the self are discovered.

In yoga, you will be challenged, delighted and humbled all at the same time while strengthening the mind and the body.

Like many, I turned to yoga many years ago in pursuit of a new workout, but the benefits I received went far beyond that and these are the reasons that keep me coming back to my mat. I think that consistency is what lead me to achieve some of my wellness goals more so than any specific type of workout could because I actually stick to it. Yoga makes me feel healthy, well and peaceful and that’s what got me hooked.

I have compiled this list of the top 10 benefits of yoga both from my personal experience of 12 years of regular yoga practice and literally scouring hundreds of websites of content to deliver to you.

Top 10 Benefits of Yoga

1. Improves Mental Health and Overall Well-being

Yoga can provide a welcomed escape from the hustle and bustle of busy, everyday life. This alone is relaxing. Even just 10 minutes a day can be enough to de-stress and carry a sense of calm with you throughout your day. Many asanas (yoga poses) are designed specifically to improve relaxation and decrease stress and anxiety, while others (like inversions) create a sense of uplifting energy for your day. Regular yoga practice has been clinically proven to lower the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression (1).

2. Improves Quality and Quantity of Sleep

A good night’s rest is imperative to overall good health and well being, and many adults aren’t getting enough sleep every night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis (2).

Yoga has been proven to improve the quality of sleep and help with insomnia. This is achieved mainly by reducing stress and providing a challenging physical workout. A national survey conducted by Harvard Medical School found that 55% of survey participants who did yoga said that it helped them improve their sleep, and 85% said yoga helped reduce their stress levels (3).

3. Increases Energy

Yoga, like many types of exercise, can increase your daily energy levels. I can personally attest to this, especially when I do yoga first thing in the morning. Unlike more intense forms of exercise that can drain you, yoga tends to be a more gentle way of getting the blood pumping and will release endorphins in the body which increase energy levels for the rest of the day. Backbends and inversion poses can be especially energizing because they stretch and awaken the spine while increasing oxygenated blood flow to the brain.

4. Builds Strength

Yoga is a great example of an effective bodyweight exercise that can build strength just as efficiently (if not more) as lifting weights. Many adults have 150+ pounds of bodyweight that when positioned in various asanas (yoga poses) can be used to build significant strength. Arm balances build powerful upper body strength, while the warrior series can really burn up your lower body. Poses like boat pose and forearm plank are great core strength builders.

5. Increases Flexibility

Want to feel more youthful and get rid of that stiff, achy feeling in your limbs? Many exercise programs neglect the importance of a good stretch. Yoga is a great way to stretch those muscles and make them feel more limber and pliable again.

6. Lowers Blood Pressure

Yoga has been clinically proven to help patients dealing with high blood pressure. According to a study conducted by evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2011, “12 weeks of Iyengar yoga produces clinically meaningful improvements in 24-hour systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure (4).”

7. Improves Diet

Yoga encourages participants to eat better by making them more mindful and appreciative of what their bodies can do. This awareness and connection to the body naturally makes yogis want to nourish their bodies better and in a more healthful way. You just don’t really feel like downing a burger and fries after a good yoga session…trust me on this one.

8. Improves Immunity

It’s true, doing yoga can actually help the body fight off illness. Yoga practice is known to decrease inflammation in the body by improving circulation, all of which supports and improves the immune system. Also, yoga is known to lower stress hormone levels in the body, and since these hormones impede immunity, yoga’s destressing effect makes both the body and mind more healthful and disease-free.

9. Supports Joint Health

All the stretching and strength-building regular yoga practice achieves will improve joint health. In fact, recent scientific studies of people with various types of arthritis show that regular yoga practice can help reduce joint pain, improve joint flexibility and function in addition to lowering stress and tension to promote better sleep (5).

10. Improves Confidence

Yoga can be a humbling experience, sure, but once you’ve accomplished a pose you’ve been working towards for weeks, months even – that’s a huge boost in confidence. Yoga also encourages body awareness and appreciation which helps yogis feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin.

The benefits of regular yoga practice are vast. For more information on yoga, including my list of 40 Benefits of Yoga and 10-Minute Yoga Routines, visit


Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jen Doyle. Jen believes you must bring your whole self to the table if you want to thrive in today’s crazy world; your personality, your sense of humor, and most importantly, your heart. All of these elements brought her to found the How’s it Flowin’ blog. She’s not a guru, just a regular person, a wife and a mother who has transformed her health and wellbeing with the power of yoga and meditation.



  1. I love yoga so much and haven’t had as much time to dedicate to it until recently. I totally agree that it’s a great compliment to exercises like weight lifting that require the larger muscles but don’t target the supporting muscles as much.

  2. Yoga is on vogue again, thanks God! I’m also trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle and started to mine for healthy recipes like yours. Also, I started a marathon training with SportMe, and I managed to get rid of some pounds. Your blog posts are super inspiring for me in this phase, thanks!

  3. Some of the benefits (Improves Immune System, Improves Diet, Increases Energy and Lower Blood Pressure ) mentioned in this article are very beneficial for people who have diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and Blood Pressure. We always recommend our patients to do exercise / Yoga.

  4. Benefits of yoga are limitless. There is nothing in the mind, body and soul that can’t be addressed with this ancient technique. Great article 🙂

  5. Thanks Daily Cup of Yoga for sharing this wonderful article. I am a big supporter of Suryanamaskara as it has actually transformed me on all levels- physical, mental, and emotional.

  6. The main philosophy-of-yoga is simple: mind, body, and spirit are all one and cannot be clearly separated. Yet, there is a multitude of philosophical ideas that are helpful to explore the deeper dimensions of the body, mind, and spirit. Studying and understanding these ideas are essential to shift our view as ourselves as separate, to realizing the unitive state.

  7. Thank you for posting this. We actually combine Yoga in our conscious living center and it has definitely enhanced the presence and awareness of the participants, myself included. No many people put so much emphasis on the breath in their yoga practice, but I see it as one of the most valuable and important aspects of yoga, as being aware of the breath is something that you carry with you all throughout the day, and it is not limited to the mat or to your practice. It is available all the time!

  8. Thanks for sharing this informative blog but also i want to add some points that should be considered. There are many benefits but we discuss some of the important health benefits.

    1. Boosts your flexibility
    2. Help in building Muscle Strength
    3. Prevents joint and cartilage breakdown
    4. Protect your Spine disks
    5. Better your Bone health and Density.
    6. Lower Blood Sugar
    7. Relaxes your Body
    8. Help in Deep Sleep
    9. Boost functionality of the Immune System
    10. Increase your blood flow
    11. Helps in maintaining blood pressure
    1. High Blood Pressure
    1. Sukhasana
    2. low Blood Pressure
    12. Increase the power of concentration/ Focus
    13. Improve Nervous System Function
    3.Deep breathing
    14. Increase self-confidence
    1.Makara Adho Mukha savasana
    15. Enhance Man’s health

  9. Well, calorie expenditure isn’t mentioned! In the last 20 years yoga became so popular that many physicians started to study it; nowadays it is know that a session can burn between 180 and 450 calories, depending on the type of yoga and how long the session lasts. This might help indeed:

  10. Thanks for sharing the benefits of yoga. Here I want to add some more information about the yoga. Yoga is a technique that aids in the control of one’s mind, body, and soul. To create a tranquil body and mind, it combines physical and mental practices. Here are the importance of yoga:-

    1. Yoga and meditation have the power to improve our intuitive ability.
    2. Help people who suffer from chronic pains including back pain, fibromyalgia, and more.
    3. Yoga regularly will leave you with a body that is strong, supple and flexible.
    4. Increased Awareness and relax your mind.
    5. Helps in weight loss
    6.Helping with self-healing
    7.Increases personal power and control

  11. Highly Informative! Yoga is a collection of physical, mental, and spiritual activities that originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the Hindu philosophical traditions’ six Āstika schools. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, there are several yoga schools, practices, and objectives. In the Western culture, the phrase Yoga frequently refers to a modern form of hatha yoga and yoga as exercise, which consists mostly of postures known as asanas. If you want to learn more, there is a fascinating article here –

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