The original purpose of hatha yoga -
i.e. asana and pranayama - is to enable the yogi/ni to sit
comfortably in meditation for three hours, and to enter into
deep meditational states without damaging the central nervous
system. This is achieved by gradually building strength and
flexibility, by increasing lung capacity, and by training the
mind to monitor and regulate these internal physical states.
The goal of asana is to learn physical self-regulation from
two basic kinds of muscular sensation: the "itch" that you
effectively scratch by gently stretching and releasing a tight
muscle; and the "burn" that results from building muscle isometrically.
These sensations also supply important internal cues for improving
anatomical balance and alignment. Learning from Itch-Burn Yoga
requires that you focus your attention inward while performing
each posture. How you look is irrelevant, and preoccupation
with your or others' external appearance is counterproductive.
Here are some vinyasas that promote overall strength, flexibility,
cardiovascular exercise, and stress relief. Adding a deep three-part
Ujaiyii breath, and "riding the breath" to set their tempo enhances
their effectiveness in relieving stress. I am not trained as a teacher
of asana (clearly), so these should be done only under the guidance of
a certified and experienced hatha yoga teacher, preferably trained in
the Krishnamacharya lineage (i.e. Ashtanga, Iyengar, or Viniyoga).