The health benefits of yoga
International research has shown that yoga can have wide-ranging health benefits when practiced regularly. These include helping to relieve stress, improving emotional health, and easing back and neck pain, as well as supporting healthy habits. What is undoubtedly true is that yoga can be a safe and effective way to increase your physical activity, and improve your strength, flexibility and balance.
In August 2017, Healthline published an article by Rachael Link, MS RD “13 Benefits of Yoga that are Supported by Science”. The article highlights the following benefits:
- Yoga can help ease stress and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Several studies show that practising yoga can lead to a decrease in symptoms of anxiety.
- Some studies show that yoga may reduce inflammatory markers in the body and help prevent pro-inflammatory diseases.
- Alone or in combination with a healthy lifestyle, yoga may help decrease risk factors for heart disease.
- Studies show that yoga could improve quality of life and may be used as an adjunct therapy for some conditions.
- Several studies have found that yoga may decrease symptoms of depression by influencing the production of stress hormones in the body.
- Yoga may help reduce chronic pain in conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis.
- Yoga may help enhance sleep quality because of its effects on melatonin and its impact on several common contributors to sleep problems.
- Research shows that practicing yoga can help improve balance and increase flexibility.
- Yoga incorporates many breathing exercises, which could help improve breathing and lung function.
- Studies show that yoga may stimulate the vagus nerve and reduce migraine intensity and frequency, alone or in combination with conventional care.
- Yoga encourages mindfulness, which may be used to help promote mindful eating and healthy eating habits.
- Some studies show that yoga can cause an increase in strength, endurance and flexibility.