People who practice yoga on a regular basis claim that they feel goodness within themselves. While there are still disputes about the potential benefits of yoga, there are some studies and new findings that support many of its contributions to physical, emotional and mental health.
Here are just three ways how yoga promotes good health.
- Yoga helps reduce the risks of heart disease
Recent research shows that yoga, just like other common physical exercises, can considerable decrease the possible risks of heart disease.
Various types of yoga such as gentle and energetic forms were studied. The research included a group of individuals at different ages ranging from young and healthy to older ones with some health conditions. Researchers got results proving that people who engaged in yoga classes improved the condition of their cardiovascular system regardless of their age. They found out improvements in several factors affecting heart disease risks. Those taking yoga classes lost weight by 5 pounds on average, lowered their blood pressure by 5 points and reduced the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol by 12 points.
According to Dr. Gloria Yeh, these positive changes when combined can significantly reduce the chance of developing a heart condition.
- Yoga helps people fight stress and anxiety
“Yoga is unique because it incorporates physical activity, breathing, and meditation,” says Dr. Yeh. Yoga enthusiasts claim that they feel comfort and peace of mind during and long after a session. Yoga is known to use breathing techniques that make your nervous system calm. The practice leads to less anxiety and more relaxed state of mind.
A number of studies and reviews indicate a significant contribution of yoga to stress reduction and the way people respond to stress. A study at the University of Utah observed and tested three different groups – experienced yoga practitioners, people with fibromyalgia (a stress-related illness), and healthy individuals who didn’t engage in yoga. With the use of MRI and other medical devices, the researchers found out that out of three groups, yoga practitioners had the lowest pain-related brain activity and, as a result, the highest pain tolerance. Based on participant’s responses to pain, the researchers estimated that individuals who are more sensitive to pain have also poor stress management.
- Yoga helps increase self-esteem
Sometimes people feel like they are losing themselves. According to Ashley Turner, an experienced yoga trainer, the practice can help you find yourself and get to know yourself better. Yoga promotes self-trust and helps people regain their self-confidence. Interestingly, these positive mental changes within yourself often lead to a healthy lifestyle in general. People find themselves eating healthier foods and getting involved in fitness activities.