Happy Body, Happy Mind – Yoga Health and Fitness – Tips, Info & Equipment

Yoga Health Benefits

(photo via Yoga Health Foundation)

Happy Body, Happy Mind -Yoga Health and Fitness
Tips, Info & Equipment

Yoga Health History

People have practiced yoga for over 5000 years. As of this writing, close to 11 million Americans are practicing and enjoying yoga health benefits. The word “yoga” is a Sanskrit term that means to yoke or harness. Modern yoga classes focus on learning physical poses and usually always include some form of breathing technique. Most also focus on different forms of meditation as well. While some yoga classes are tailored purely for relaxation, there are many different styles of yoga. Choosing the best yoga health style for you will provide the greatest health benefits you’re seeking to achieve. Yoga enables you to develop flexibility, strength, and balance. It’s said that uniting the body, mind and spirit is the key to achieving a happy body and a happy mind.

Yoga Health Benefits –

When most people think ‘yoga’ they imagine having to stretch into crazy poses only a contortionist can do. Not true. And, you’re never too old or too out of shape to start! There is a series of yoga health poses called Asanas. These are designed to safely stretch your muscles, improve flexibility as well as stimulate the circulatory and immune systems. This greatly improves the discomfort caused by  stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. The yoga health style called Iyengar focuses on less movement but rather more precise alignment for it’s strength and endurance building. When this is practiced correctly (even while seated in a chair) nearly all poses can build core strength within the abdominal muscles. For me, personally, one of the best yoga health benefits involves the deep breathing techniques used in most styles. While this will of course improve lung capacity, it also stimulates the relaxation response. The opposite of an adrenaline boost and the result of stress. Even a beginner will feel less stressed and much more relaxed after their 1st session. Who doesn’t need less stress these days? A quiet mind is a calm mind. This also has a direct relation to better concentration and mood! The deep breathing will boost oxygen levels in the brain. Studies have shown this can decrease depression, improve concentration and most recently, improve symptoms of OCD. One of the most studied yoga health benefits is on heart disease. Practicing yoga can lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate benefits those with high blood pressure, heart disease, and individuals at high risk for strokes. Western medicine is just now realizing the yoga health benefits of other chronic medical conditions also. The regular practice of yoga can be helpful with relieving symptoms of asthma, back pain, and arthritis. Also, its health benefits for easing the symptoms of insomnia are now widely being recognized and most recently multiple sclerosis has been added to the list of conditions benefiting from correctly practiced yoga. The key? Correctly practicing! While yoga health benefits are clearly obvious, there are risks involved when any form of exercise or training is done improperly. I highly recommend taking a local class for proper instruction.

Yoga Health Mat

Yoga Health At Home – Equipment to have on Hand

It’s easy and fairly inexpensive to practice yoga in your own home as well. After some classes on proper techniques, it’s easy to carry your routine over to the privacy of your own home. You’ll only need a few easy to acquire pieces of equipment and you’re set! My top 3 must haves –

  • Yoga Block: If you are a beginner, you will most likely benefit from a yoga block when doing more difficult poses until your balance and strength increases.
  • Yoga Mat: Whether attending a formal yoga class or practicing at home, you will need a good quality mat.  Quality yoga mats keep the slipping and sliding that occurs to a minimum. I have found great quality yoga products from Aurorae. They carry a full line of yoga products at very reasonable prices.
  • Microfiber Towel: Yoga, like any other exercise routine, can be quite the work-out. Work-outs will for sure make you perspire. Having a nice microfiber towel will come in handy every time. (also available at Aurorae!)

Are You Ready To Experience The Yoga Health Benefits?

With the new year starting and resolutions being made, why not add the practice of a yoga health routine to your list? You’ll never receive any yoga health benefits until you get started and give it a try!

I am giving away an Aurorae Northern Lights Yoga Mat! Be sure to enter and cross one item off your must have list and get started today!


  1. Ryan enjoys doing yoga. I hope we can find someplace larger to move so she can continue.

  2. I keep wanting to try yoga…I really need to just do it!

  3. I’ve wanted to try yoga for a few years but have never gotten around to it. I should pick up a yoga dvd when they go on sale as a result of the new years resolutions

  4. I love yoga but don’t do it very often. It’s too bad because I’m so out of shape and not flexible so I could use all the help I can get.

  5. I used to do Yoga regularly, but it has been a very long time. I might have to pull out some of my old DVDs next week.

  6. Thank you for the tips – I might sign up for yoga classes in the new year

  7. I’ve been meaning to get to yoga, it sounds like something I could actually do with physical pain

  8. Yoga has helped me so much with my fibromyalgia. I had some intense set backs over the fall and am getting back into it just now. I love that it is not crazy and that it does make me feel better throughout the whole day and decrease my stress. I find myself doing certain moves throughout the day, and my 8 year old son is doing some too!

  9. My husband keeps telling me I need to try yoga.I want to be more physically fit, but I hate sweating and my knee often hinders me in a lot of exercising. He may be right that Yoga may be the thing for me.

  10. I did pre-natal yoga once. I was 9 months pregnant and needless to say, gave birth a few days later! LOL I think when you say yoga – people always assume the opposite. The particular yoga class I was in was the contortionist stuff. Others, refuse to say the word yoga because they think its the sitting their meditating similar to your image above. I think I prefer a good blend of each type and find that to be the most beneficial because I really do enjoy yoga and have found that it is a work out!

  11. I love yoga. I have never used this kind or brand but will look for it.

  12. Yoga is wonderful and refreshing! I love it although I’m not flexible at all but that’s one of the reasons I started doing yoga in the first place 🙂 Thanks for all this info!!

  13. Last year I was so good about this. I need to get back into it.

  14. I would like to give yoga a try this year and see if it will help with my fibromyalgia pain and give me more flexibilty.

  15. I love yoga! IT is a great way to stretch and start off a workout! Also amazing to help you keep flexibility!

  16. I did prenatal yoga – until I ended up with not one, but TWO super fun hernias. That kind of stopped most of my activity pretty quickly, lol. But I should get back to it – it really does help keep me centered and more calm.

    You know, so I don’t freak out on my family all of the time 🙂

  17. I took a few yoga classes with a bunch of girls from work. We ended up laughing the entire time and received our fair share of dirty looks. I’ve always been a die hard runner so I really thought yoga would be breeze. It’s no joke, those poses are harder than you think and you really do get a workout!

  18. I’ve done yoga in the past and would love to get back into it. It really did make me feel better. Now just to find the time.

  19. Sacha Schroeder says

    I would really like to give yoga a shot! Thanks for the information!

  20. michelle warner says

    i would love to try the yoga, i bet it is so relaxing, maybe i weill give it a shot

  21. I really do love yoga, it is the one exercise I have been able to stick with. It is just so relaxing.
    Diana S

  22. Cindi Decker says

    I love doing yoga. You feel so refreshed afterward and it really helps with the little aches and pains.

  23. I love the saying on that plate

  24. I need all of the above, I need to give Yoga another try.

  25. I knew that Yoga was really good for you, but I had no idea of how many health benefits it actually had. Thanks for sharing!

  26. i’m a huge fan of yoga – it balances out with my running

  27. I have been practicing bikram yoga for months now, about twice a week, and it’s really making my body feel better.

  28. Wish we had classes nearer to us – I lack the confidence to teach myself even very basic yoga with books or dvds. Just can’t tell if I’m doing poses correctly!

  29. I bought a yoga DVD for myself a while back. Maybe this year I should start using it and then I can see some of the health benefits of yoga.

  30. I really want to start yoga for the new year

  31. I’ve been doing Yoga for almost 12 years, I love it so, so very much!

  32. I find that I always feel awesome after doing my yoga session.

  33. I just might have to try Yoga this year. It would help me with exercise and with depression.

  34. my daughter is after me to start doing yoga, a lot of the infor here was very helpful

  35. I should include yoga in my resolutions for 2013!

  36. Its a nice post actually we also provide information about corporate health and wellness programs for more information visit mywellnessclub

  37. I need to do more Yoga, I feel more inspired thank you for sharing this article.

  38. As someone who lives with severe anxiety I have often wondered if yoga would benefit me. Unfortunately the few times that i have tried doing a video I always found it hard to follow along while trying to concentrate and make sure I’m in the proper position. I think next time I may just try going to a class 🙂 Thanks for your post!

  39. Ash Johnson says

    I got a yoga dvd for Christmas, so I’m definitely gonna try it out.

  40. Tara Gauthier says

    Yoga is something I need to start doing. Have done some with my son and he loves it too!

  41. Arik Issan says

    I am for yoga without the body.

  42. I love Hatha Yoga. so relaxing1

  43. Kelly Tanner says

    I have only tried yoga at home from a video but feel that it would be very useful to attend an actual class for a while to get the right technique prior to trying on your own at home. I ended up pulling a muscle in my back “soluting the sun” lol. I will give yoga another try!

  44. Thanks for the information on yoga. I have entered the yoga mat giveaway. Yoga is an excellent way to improve your quality of life.

  45. I keep saying I want to start doing yoga and I keep putting it off. From reading here, it would be perfect for me, my anxiety, arthritis, depression, etc. Thank you for all the information. I was one of those who thought you had to be a contortionist and I was too out of shape and heavy to do it. 🙂

  46. I do yoga for the pain in my back and it really helps rid me of a lot of pain. I think that more people should look into the benefits of yoga. Also I make sure to do my yoga correctly!

  47. I’ve never tried yoga before but it looks so relaxing! Thanks for the info.

  48. I’d love to do yoga, I just don’t have time, I have a 5 mo old baby boy and 2 jobs! not much time but I’m going to try to at least squeeze some time during the weekend. I believe doing yoga would help me be a better mommy since I’ll be more calmer and happier about myself 🙂


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