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The health benefits of yoga

Health-conscious individuals can do many things to improve their overall health. As medical researchers continue to uncover new things about how to achieve optimal health, yoga remains a highly effective way to take care of the human body.

Despite its age, yoga has not been studied extensively by medical researchers. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, many studies looking into the health effects of yoga have included only small numbers of people and have not been of high quality. As a result, the NCCIH can only say that yoga shows promise in regard to helping people manage or overcome certain health issues, but not that it has been proven to do so. 

A 2004 comprehensive review of yoga’s use as a therapeutic intervention published in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology indicated that yoga targets unmanaged stress, which has been linked to chronic disorders like anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes, and insomnia.

The NCCIH notes that research has suggested yoga can:

Relieve low-back and neck pain

Relieve menopause symptoms

Help people manage anxiety or depressive symptoms associated with difficult life situations

Help people quit smoking

Help people who are overweight or obese lose weight

Help people with chronic diseases manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

It’s important that anyone considering making yoga part of their health care routines recognize that there are various forms of yoga, some of which are more physically demanding than others. So it’s best if individuals speak with their physicians before trying yoga so they can find the type that aligns best with their current levels of fitness.  (MC)  

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