Workout Program For Yoga


Designing an effective yoga workout program is largely dependent on your personal fitness goals and the specific benefits you want to achieve from yoga.

Yoga is a very versatile physical and mental activity in that its primary focus is on developing strength, flexibility, mental stability and calmness, as well as physical and mental balance.

The type of yoga that you practice will ultimately determine the types of benefits you will receive. For instance, there are specific types of yoga that are directed at developing core strength and stability and incorporate a light aerobic workout as well.

On the other hand, there are certain types of yoga that primarily focus on creating a mind-body connection and relaxing and calming the mind.

Prior to choosing the yoga style that is best aligned with your personal fitness goals, spend some time learning about the various types of yoga and the benefits of each. The different types and styles of yoga are specifically designed to address unique physical and mental aspects of the human body and mind.

While virtually all yoga poses will increase an individual's strength and flexibility, there are specific types and styles of yoga that focus more intensely on strength, balance, a cardiovascular effect and flexibility. For this reason, you will want to make sure that you take the time to learn the specific details of each of the types and styles of yoga and thereafter, choose the yoga style that best supports your personal health and fitness goals.

Choosing Your Style

Below are several styles of yoga as well as their unique areas of focus:

  • Traditional Yoga: A union of the mind and body with a focus on improving flexibility of the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

  • Relaxing Yoga: Almost solely devoted to achieving a relaxed, centered and balanced mind.

  • Fast Paced Yoga: Designed to raise the heart rate and build strength.

  • Flexibility Yoga: Primarily focused on increasing flexibility.

  • Meticulous Yoga: Can encompass virtually any pose, but its primary purpose is stress reduction.

  • Chanting Yoga: Solely designed to reduce stress and create a centered and balanced mind.

Choosing Your Poses


For individuals that decide to participate in a yoga class, simply follow along with the instructor. For individuals that plan on performing their yoga routine at home with DVDs or VCR tapes, again, simply follow along with the instructor.

For individuals who have never practiced yoga in the past, it is recommended that you enroll in a yoga class or purchase a set of yoga DVDs or VCR tapes. By doing so, you will be able to participate in a yoga routine immediately.

However, for those individuals that would like to research the various aspects, poses and breathing techniques associated with the various types and styles of yoga, there are numerous resources to assist you.

In fact, for additional information related to yoga, please visit the yoga section of our website.

There are countless poses and sequences of movements across the various types and styles of yoga. In addition, each type and style of yoga will have a slightly different focus, both from a physical and mental aspect. However, below are a few examples of some of the more common yoga poses and their associated benefits:

  • Fold Forward Pose: Stretches both the muscles of the lower back and the hamstrings and strengthens the quadriceps.

  • Pose of the Tree: Stretches the quadricep muscles and strengthens the hamstrings and calves.

  • Pose of the Triangle: Stretches the joints of the hips and strengthens the waist and quadriceps.

  • Pose of the Locust: Strengthens the gluteals, legs and lower back.

  • Pose of the Cobra: Stretches the abs, chest and shoulders and strengthens the gluteals, spine and arms.

  • Eagle Pose: Stretches the shoulders and improves balance. It also improves leg strength.

  • Triangle Pose: Stretches the hamstrings and hips, and also adds strength to your legs.

  • Baby Pose: Designed specifically to stretch the hamstrings.

  • Goddess Pose: Opens and stretches the hips.

Putting All of the Pieces Together

yoga poses class

When designing your program, it is important to keep in mind that yoga is intended to be a fluid art that seamlessly combines a series of poses and/or a sequence of movements to promote an overall benefit to the body, mind and mind-body connection. When you define and set up your personal yoga routine, you should focus on designing a sequence of poses in an order that allows for a smooth transition from one pose to the next.

Yoga is generally intended to be practiced at least five times a week. However, if you choose a fast-paced yoga style or intend for your yoga routine to facilitate weight loss, you may want to perform your yoga session every other day.

In addition, it would be beneficial to vary the actual poses performed in each yoga session so that each yoga routine focuses on exercising a specific set of muscle groups. Implementing an approach of this nature will not only keep the individual muscle groups in a state of continually developing, but will increase the rate in which results are obtained.

For instance, you may perform a yoga routine on Monday that primarily focuses on upper body strength and flexibility and ends with relaxing poses to calm the mind. Wednesday's yoga workout may focus on lower body strength, balance and flexibility, and end with relaxing poses to calm the mind. Alternating yoga routines under this concept has proven to be quite effective at increasing an individual's overall health, fitness, flexibility and mental well-being, all while providing an avenue for weight loss.

After you have defined the bulk of your yoga routine, it's a good idea to leave a little room for experimentation in each session. By doing so, you will begin to put together your own unique series of poses.

This will increase the diversity and variety of your yoga sessions, hence improving your workouts and facilitating greater health gains. By continually modifying your yoga routine, you will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of each yoga session, and thereafter tailor your routines to a series of poses that produces the greatest health benefits.

As an individual becomes more comfortable with the various yoga poses, they begin to determine which poses are best suited to addressing their personal fitness goals. By tailoring your yoga routine to the series of poses that provides the largest health benefit, you will have put together a routine that is more effective, efficient, and targeted to your specific fitness goals.

There Is Always Room For Improvement

Even professional yoga instructors find that they still have to continually work to perfect their ability to perform some of the more complicated poses. This will most likely be the case for you too, as there are several yoga poses that are extremely difficult to perform. Certain yoga poses may be deemed difficult for one of the following reasons:

  • Flexibility requirements

  • Strength requirements

  • Balance requirements

Because of the difficulty of many yoga poses, it will be necessary to repeatedly practice the pose while continuing to develop the requirements that are preventing you from being able to complete the pose. For example, an approach to improving your ability to perform the Camel pose is listed below:

  • Identify the benefits of the pose: The benefits of the Camel pose are to stretch the body, improve posture and improve strength.

  • Identify the problem: It feels uncomfortable. You may spend too much time bent forward. This could occur because of how you normally sit at work.

  • Find a solution: Try making sure that your legs are in line, and use a yoga block to make the pose more comfortable.

  • Find another solution: When you are in the kneeling portion, ensure that your legs are the proper distance from one another.

  • Find a third solution: When leaning back, use a yoga block for support and as a way to gradually work into the position.


Although the art of yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and has its roots planted in Eastern culture, its popularity has increased dramatically in the United States much more recently. The benefits of yoga, both physical and mental, have been well documented by the medical industry, and will improve the quality of life for virtually any individual.

Because of this, we have dedicated an entire section of our website to discussions solely related to the arts of yoga and meditation. For more information related to the various types and styles of yoga, the benefits of each type and style, and sample yoga routines, please visit our Yoga section.