Yoga for Health

Yoga is a foundation to achieve and maintain optimum health and wellness.  This is for both Yoga Students and Yoga Instructors.  


Yoga is an immensely valuable practice to achieve and maintain for optimum Health and Wellness.  The recommended Yoga practice includes

- Nutrition – healthy plant based diet;

- Exercise – vigorous asanas supplemented with walking, cardiovascular exercises, strengthening exercises;

- Stress Management – daily breathing exercises and meditation along with good music, artistic expression, and time management.


Key Definitions


Yoga: Yoga is a system of physical exercises and postures, breathing practices, meditation, and other practices to integrate one's body, mind, and spirit. In this web site, Yoga is the practice of Ashtanga (8 Limbs) as presented in “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by Sri Swami Satchidananda, Mukunda Stiles, etc. 


Nutrition: Nutrition is the way the body takes in and uses food/nutrients.  Nutrients provide energy, growth, help repair body tissues, and regulate body functions. 


Exercise:  Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning any part of the body.  Fitness in a general sense is the ability to adapt.  Physical and mental fitness is the state of being free from illness, and able to function efficiently and effectively.  Physical fitness includes exercises for cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility.  


Stress Management: Stress management is control of stress, i.e. the physical, mental, or emotional factors that causes bodily or mental tension.


Key aspects of each lifestyle for Nutrition, Fitness/Exercise, and Stress Management are shown in the table below.


Wellness Factor

Traditional Yoga

Yoga with Ayurveda

Yoga for Nutrition, Fitness, and Stress Management (Dean Ornish Spectrum)


Vegetarian with raw foods and detoxifications

Vegetarian with cooked foods. Diet based upon Ayurveda doshas

Low fat diet



Yoga Asanas

Aerobic Cardiovascular, Strength, Stretching, and Yoga Asana

Stress Management

Meditation and Breathing Exercises

Meditation and Breathing Exercises  - Ayurvedic Massage

Many Stress Management Techniques including Meditation and Breathing Exercises

Key features for Health

Comprehensive Cosmology including Energy Flow

Comprehensive Cosmology including Energy Flow

Comprehensive Health and Wellness Plan with emphasis on disease prevention with Nutrition, Fitness, and Stress Management.  Additionally social/intimate connections are important.



Yoga, Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress Management


The table below outlines key aspects of Yoga, Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress Management.






Stress Management

Primary Objective


Union with the Divine

Sufficient Nourishment

Sufficient Stretching, Aerobic, and Strength Exercises

Sufficient Control of Anxiety and Stress

Foundation References

Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras

Dietary Guidelines

for Americans 2010

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

National Institute of Health - - Search Stress

Suggested Daily Practice

30 - 60 minutes

2000 calories for 160 pound adult

30 – 60 minutes  moderate physical activity

20 minutes meditation; 10 minutes breathing exercise


Key Concepts for the Yoga Student


The following are the key summary concepts to achieve a high level of Yoga Practice, Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress Management:


1 – Follow a lifestyle that includes a consistent, disciplined practice of Yoga (Asanas, Pranayama, Meditation).  This is valuable for achieving and maintaining optimum weight and health.


2 – Set daily goals for Yoga practice, morning weight (minimum clothes), exercise, and stress management.


3 – In daily personal Yoga and group Yoga practices, set uplifting intentions or themes for each practice.


4 – In asanas and pranayama (breathing exercises), enjoy the stillness of every pose for awareness with your inner self and for overcoming stress.


5 – Appreciate the thousand year history and traditions of Yoga for awareness of your inner self and honoring our individual mind, body, and spirit.


6 – Through reading, research, and practice, be a lifelong student of Yoga, Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress Management.  


7 – Adopt a plant based diet consistent with traditional Yoga and current vegetarian diets.