Yoga postures promote better circulation of blood throughout the body. Inversions such as the headstand and shoulderstand reverse the flow of gravity, improving the blood supply to the lungs and brain and giving the legs and heart a rest. Pressure of the abdominal cavity against the diaphragm exercises the diaphragm and heart muscles. Inversions promote better quality of sleep, because they relax the nervous system, enabling the relaxation response to kick in.
Twists wring out the body like a wet towel, squeezing, massaging, and stimulating the organs and muscles; bringing in fresh blood and nutrients; and releasing toxins and wastes. They also reduce spinal, hip, and groin problems.
Forward bends rinse, squeeze, and flush the abdominal organs, encouraging proper digestion and elimination, and stretch and tone the organs in the back of the body. They quiet the mind and encourage introspection. The kidneys and adrenals are soothed by forward bends, relieving fatigue and renewing energy.
Backbends squeeze the kidneys and adrenal glands and stretch and tone the organs in the front of the body. The lungs and heart are opened, bringing more breath and circulation throughout the body. Through yoga postures, the heart is not stressed as it is in aerobic activities such as CrossFitting.