Yoga Moves that Really Help You Stay Fit - Yoga Practice Blog

Yoga Moves that Really Help You Stay Fit

yoga moves that keep you fitBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP and Kimaya Singh

Everybody knows that Yoga moves relax the body and increases flexibility, but is it enough to keep the body fit? According to some Yogis, the answer is: “yes.”  Strength can be developed by holding postures for 20 seconds or longer.  Yoga styles that hold postures for minutes, will develop strength levels in their students, without an increase in body weight. In contrast, flowing styles, such as Vinyasa Yoga, develop flexibility and strength through repetitive movement.


Understanding Fitness

While the exact definition of fitness can vary from one person to another, there are several components that all degrees of fitness have in common. According to some schools of thought, physical fitness relates both to the ability to perform a physical activity, and to prevent or manage health-related concerns, such as heart disease.

In the purely physical sense, there are five major areas to which fitness applies: Body fat to lean muscle mass ratio, health of internal organs, flexibility, condition of the muscles, skeletal health, and the cardio-respiratory system. When analyzing Yoga moves to determine whether it is enough to stay physically fit, it has been found that results depend not only on the type of physical routine but also on how much time is dedicated to the practice.

The same rule applies to other physical activities, such as a walking program. In the case of walking, a minimum of 20 minutes a day is considered a low-end benchmark. What makes anyone think any other physical activity should be different when considering a minimum standard for physical benefit?

From a holistic viewpoint, a balanced routine requires a combination of flowing Yoga moves and weight-bearing poses for at least three hours per week, in addition to breath work (pranayama) and meditation.


12 Yoga Moves that Really Help You Stay Fit

Sun Salutations

Moon Salutations

Warrior Poses

Shoulder Stand

Bridge Pose

Plank Pose

Tree Pose

Triangle Pose

Seated Twists

Downward Facing Dog Pose

Upward Facing Dog Pose

Boat Pose


Five Styles with Yoga Moves that Really Help You Stay Fit

Hatha – focuses on gentle stretches and breathing techniques; great for beginners

Iyengar – concentrates on body alignment and balance; uses props; also great for beginners

Kundalini – uses fast movements, while chanting and breathing; emphasizes energy systems

Ashtanga, or Power Yoga – incorporates quick moves, designed to build stamina and endurance; usually does not include meditation

Bikram – takes place in a 105 degrees Fahrenheit room; cleanses toxins and loosens muscles

Regardless of whether staying fit means – maintaining the energy and stamina to pursue a daily lifestyle or the endurance and vigor to perform athletic feats, there is a style and a selection of Yoga moves to meet the designated goal. The needs, abilities, and aspirations of every person are different. Therefore, it is helpful for students to seek the help of an experienced Yoga instructor when setting up a fitness plan.


Benefits of Yoga Moves that Really Help You Stay Fit

Practicing yoga offers numerous benefits for both body and mind. The physical aspect of yoga helps improve flexibility, strength, and balance. You engage different muscle groups by holding various poses, leading to increased tone and endurance.

Beyond its physical benefits, yoga moves are also fantastic for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Focusing on breath control during practice can help calm the mind and alleviate anxiety. Additionally, regular yoga practice can enhance one’s overall sense of well-being by fostering mindfulness and self-awareness.

Yoga isn’t just about getting into impressive poses; it’s about connecting with yourself on a deeper level. It encourages introspection and self-reflection, allowing you to cultivate a greater sense of inner peace and harmony. So next time you unroll your mat, remember that you’re not just exercising – you’re nurturing your body and soul through the beautiful practice of yoga.

Best Yoga Poses for Overall Fitness

Certain poses stand out for their effectiveness when it comes to enhancing your overall fitness through yoga. One is the plank pose, which strengthens the core and improves balance. Another beneficial pose is the downward-facing dog, which stretches the entire body while building strength in the arms and legs. Warrior II pose is great for toning muscles and increasing stamina, making it a staple in many yoga routines.

Tree pose challenges your balance and focus, working on physical and mental stability. The bridge pose strengthens the back and opens up the chest and shoulders. For flexibility, try practicing seated forward fold or pigeon pose. By regularly incorporating these poses into your yoga practice, you can experience improved strength, flexibility, balance, and overall well-being.


How to Incorporate Yoga into Your Fitness Routine

If you’re looking to spice up your fitness routine and add a touch of mindfulness, incorporating yoga can be a game-changer. Start by setting aside dedicated time each day for your yoga practice. Whether it’s in the morning to energize yourself or in the evening to wind down, finding a consistent schedule is key.

Choose a quiet space where you can focus without distractions. Roll out your mat and let go of any expectations – allow yourself to flow with the poses. Don’t worry about perfection; yoga is about progress, not perfection.

Experiment with different styles of yoga to keep things interesting – from vigorous Vinyasa flows to soothing Yin stretches, there’s something for everyone. Blend yoga seamlessly into your fitness routine by swapping out a weekly workout or two.

Listen to your body and honor its limits. Modify poses as needed, and remember that rest is just as important as movement. With patience and persistence, yoga will soon become an integral part of staying fit and balanced.

The Importance of Proper Breathing Techniques in Yoga

When practicing yoga, proper breathing techniques enhance the overall experience. The breath is considered the bridge between the body and mind during yoga. Focusing on deep and intentional breathing helps calm the mind, reduce stress, and improve concentration.

Incorporating breathwork into your yoga routine can also help increase oxygen flow throughout the body, promoting better circulation and energy levels. By syncing movement with breath, you can create a more fluid and mindful practice that allows for greater flexibility and strength development.

Breath awareness in yoga moves not only aids physical performance but also acts as a powerful tool for managing emotions and finding inner peace. Learning to regulate your breath through different poses can lead to improved endurance, balance, and mindfulness both on and off the mat.


Using Props to Enhance Your Practice

One way to take your yoga moves to the next level is by incorporating props. Props such as blocks, straps, and bolsters can help enhance your alignment and deepen your stretches.

Blocks are great for providing support in poses where flexibility might be a limitation. They can assist in maintaining proper form and prevent strain on muscles.

Straps help increase flexibility by allowing you to extend your reach in poses like seated forward folds or hamstring stretches. They also help with alignment in postures that involve binding.

Bolsters are excellent for restorative practices, offering extra cushioning and support during relaxation poses like savasana or gentle backbends.

Experimenting with props can add variety to your routine and help you find new ways to challenge yourself physically and mentally on the mat.

Combining Yoga with Other Forms of Exercise

When it comes to staying fit and healthy, combining yoga with other forms of exercise can be a game-changer. Yoga’s focus on flexibility, strength, and balance complements various workouts like cardio or weight training.

Adding yoga moves into your routine can help prevent injuries by improving your range of motion and overall body awareness. Whether you enjoy running, cycling, or lifting weights, incorporating yoga sessions can aid in recovery and reduce muscle soreness.

Mixing yoga with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide a well-rounded fitness regimen targeting different physical wellness aspects. Yoga’s mindfulness can also enhance mental clarity during intense workout sessions.

By blending different types of exercises, you create a balanced approach to fitness that promotes physical health and mental well-being. So why not spice up your workout routine by adding downward dogs and warrior poses?



Incorporating yoga moves into your fitness routine can truly elevate your overall well-being. Yoga benefits go beyond physical strength and flexibility; it also nurtures mental clarity, emotional balance, and spiritual growth.

By incorporating the best yoga poses for overall fitness, focusing on proper breathing techniques, effectively utilizing props, and combining yoga with other forms of exercise, you can create a holistic approach to staying fit. Remember that consistency is key to reaping the rewards of a regular yoga practice.

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3 thoughts on “Yoga Moves that Really Help You Stay Fit”

  1. Staying fit means – maintaining the energy and stamina to pursue a daily lifestyle and there is a style of Yoga, and a selection of poses, to meet the designated goal. Thanks for posting this valuable article.

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