Like most exercise, certain types of yoga, such as Ashtanga, Bikram and Vinyasa yoga, boost your heart rate, lowering your risk of heart attack.
Hatha Yoga however, intentionnaly keeps your resting heart rate low, so the heart doesn't have to work as hard to keep the blood pumping. In this state, our blood is transported more efficiently and at a lower rate. This keeps our heart strong and lowers the risk of heart disease.
When we are moving, chemicals known as endorphines are released in the body. These chemicals create a reaction in the brain and trigger positive feelings similar to that of morphine.
People who exercise regularly, have more confidence and are less likely to suffer from depression,
So why do yoga if all exercise gives you these benefits and the extra shot of endorphines?
The base of yoga is Pranayam or the controlling of the breath.
Because of the high focus on the breath, a yoga practice allows you a maximum intake of oxygen . The more oxygen is sent to your cells, the better you function.
Conclusion: all exercise is great for cardiovascular health, yoga just gives it that unique extra touch.