Research continues to unearth more health benefits of various types of yoga – here are five of them:
- It can ease back pain – multiple studies have found that yoga is more effective for chronic back pain treatment than medication or usual care. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people with chronic lower back pain reported better back function after a few months of practising yoga. Studies have also shown that those who practice yoga for as little as twice a week for eight weeks make significant gains in strength, flexibility and endurance, which is a basic goal of most rehabilitation programs for back and neck pain.
- It could improve your chances of getting pregnant – in recent years, couples have increasingly turned to yoga as a means of decreasing stress and increasing their chances of conceiving a child. And though there are a few studies that indicate that yoga benefits include enhancing fertility, it has been shown to reduce stress which indeed plays a role. The breathing techniques associated with yoga can also help lower the stress hormone cortisol in the body, as well as increasing your circulation and ensuring blood flow reaches the reproductive organs.
- It improves heart health – In a study of 19 patients with heart failure, adding eight weeks of yoga to the treatment of nine patients increased their capacity for exercise, improved heart health and enhanced overall quality of life. A 2012 article published in the journal, Medical Hypotheses, also suggests yoga could prevent and treat some medical conditions, including cardiac disease, by improving stress-related imbalances in the nervous system.
- It eases asthma – the poses and asanas you find in a yoga class stimulate the required organs and help you with your ailments. The movement itself betters your conditions by allowing a free flow of air through the bronchial tubes and air sacs in the lungs. In a recent study of adults with mild to moderate asthma, adding an eight-week yoga session to their conventional care also dramatically improved asthma symptoms.
- It could improve mental health – the effects of PTSD can include intrusive memories, heightened anxiety and personality changes. Additionally, individuals can also experience hyper-arousal, where they are easily startled or “feel jumpy” and constantly on guard. Whilst standard current treatment for PTSD generally involves psychotherapy and medication, a new study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, says that yoga can be used to bring better mental balance. The benefits are due to the increased ability to focus on breathing, which allows the PTSD sufferer to focus on the present moment, breaking negative traumatic thought patterns.
Read more on yoga in the links below.