Unite your body and mind with yoga.

Yoga can help improve your physical and mental well-being.

by Nashville General Hospital
woman doing yoga

About one in seven adults in the U.S. practice yoga. One reason yoga is so popular is its accessibility. It requires minimal equipment, space, and can be done at home or in a group setting. The main reason people practice yoga is the health benefits. By combining breath control, simple meditation, and basic movement or postures, yoga helps people of all ages and abilities improve their physical and mental health. 

“Research has proven that yoga can help improve balance, increase strength and flexibility,” says Nashville General Hospital Employee Wellness Specialist Tiffani Kelly, BA, E-RYT. “Yoga also helps clear the mind and allows the body the opportunity to relax.”

The benefits of yoga are well documented:

  • Physical health: Yoga involves physical movement. This helps contribute to increased flexibility, greater strength and improved balance.
  • Stress management: Practicing yoga can lead to improvements in the physical and psychological aspects of stress.
  • Positive mental health: Yoga can help improve mindfulness and general mental well-being.
  • Health habits: Those who regularly practice yoga are often motivated to improve their health habits. This includes increasing overall levels of physical activity and eating a healthier diet.
  • Better sleep: Less stress and greater mindfulness can help individuals who practice yoga get a good night’s sleep.

“Yoga is for everyone,” says Tiffani. “Yoga poses are all about finding a balance between strength and flexibility. Even people who are confined to a wheelchair can participate. It is truly one activity that is suitable for all stages of life and physical ability.”

As with any type of physical activity, it is best to begin under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Tiffani shares the following tips for those interested in practicing yoga:

  • Yoga is a practice, do not try to be perfect. Remember, you are just practicing.
  • When looking at yoga classes, read the description before you participate. If there is not a class description, ask the instructor what to expect. Finding the class style that is right for you will greatly enhance your experience.
  • If you have concerns about your ability, share that with the instructor so the two of you can create the most positive experience. 
  • During yoga practice, you want your body to be relaxed and open to the benefits yoga provides. If you experience pain, your body will tense and you will not realize the full benefit of the activity.
  • Be patient with the process. Do not force a pose. Focus more on how your body feels versus what the pose looks like.
  • Do not compare yourself to others. We are all built differently and will express each yoga pose uniquely.
  • Do what feels right for your body and leave out what does not.

In addition to yoga studios throughout the city, Nashville General Hospital offers chair yoga classes at select community events. YouTube offers a number of yoga instruction videos, including this Chair Yoga video hosted by Tiffani. The Nashville Public Library also offers yoga classes to the public. These beginner classes are suitable for all fitness levels. Visit the library’s website to see upcoming events.

Interested in learning more about yoga, download this Yoga for Health e-book.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should talk with your primary care physician or other qualified medical professionals regarding diagnosis and treatment of a health condition.


nih.gov, “5 Things You Should Know About Yoga”, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health part of the National Institutes for Health, June 7, 2024