What is yoga?

College of DuPage Nursing Student Brooke Valtman wrote for Healthy Lombard that Yoga is a total body work out that can be as intense or as laid back and you choose. It allows you to gain strength, flexibility and mind-body awareness. Yoga targets just about every core muscle and it helps build strength in your arms and legs. The most basic form of yoga is called “Hatha” which combines basic movements and breathing. There are many other kinds of yoga that can be practiced. Yoga helps you to burn calories and tone your muscles, as well as relax your mind with meditation and deep breathing.

How much will it cost me?

The cost of practicing yoga is up to you. There are classes that you can attend, or you can practice for free at home or outdoors. There are many online videos that you can follow. If you are going to be practicing yoga regularly, you may want to use a yoga mat to help you maintain stability and cushion from the floor.

Health benefits:

There are many health benefits to yoga, both physically and mentally. This form of exercise takes on a holistic approach. Yoga is great if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or high cholesterol. It can help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and manage your glucose levels. It may be a good idea to consult with your doctor before attempting this form of exercise because certain positions may not be safe for you.  Arthritis is another health condition that has benefits from yoga. It helps you to stay flexible and strong without adding stress to your joints. Yoga is an amazing practice if you are pregnant. It helps can help you stay relaxed, strong and in shape.

Studies have shown that yoga can even affect depression. It can help to reduce the impact of stress, help with anxiety, be a self-soothing technique, and improve energy. It uses a combination of meditation and physical movement to relieve depression. It brings the person into the present moment which allows them to clear their minds. Controlled focused movements help to strengthen the body-mind connection. To reduce stress and anxiety, it increases your heart rate variability, which means your body is better at self-monitoring or adapting. It can help reduce resting heart rate, lower blood pressure and ease breathing which contributes to lowering anxiety levels.


Watson, Stephanie. “Yoga: Benefits, Intensity Level, and More.” WebMD, WebMD, 8 Dec. 2019, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/a-z/yoga-workouts.

This article was reviewed by Tyler Wheeler, MD. He is a primary care sports medicine physician at Family Practice Center in Atlanta. He is also an assistant professor of family and preventative medicine at the Emory University of Medicine.


Krans, Brian. “Using Yoga to Relieve the Symptoms of Depression.” Healthline, 15 Aug. 2016, www.healthline.com/health/depression/yoga-therapy.

Medically reviewed by Peggy Pletcher, MS, RD, LD, CDE

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