The Benefits

Yoga has many benefits. It tones and strengthens muscles, increases flexibility and balance, and reduces stress. After only a few weeks of yoga, I felt a big difference in my life and I noticed I felt a lot better. I also noticed how much worse I felt whenever I took a few weeks off.

But is there medical proof that supports the health benefits of a regular yoga practice? I wanted to know if there was evidence, other than my own experience or what I’ve heard other people say, that yoga is in fact good for you. Even though I know I’m already biased on the topic, I was surprised by the support I found. (The links for the supporting articles/websites are at the bottom of the page in case anyone wants to read the full articles.)

An article by the Mayo Clinic staff says that ‘potential health benefits of yoga are numerous’ and these health benefits include:

  • stress reduction
  • increased fitness
  • management of chronic health conditions
  • weight loss

On WebMD, (and you’ll have to read the whole article for yourself because the list of benefits is too long to include in just single paragraph) a few things stood out:  yoga can help lower blood pressure and slow heart rate, minimize symptoms associated with back pain and arthritis, and help reduce stress.

The American Cancer Society website says that ‘yoga can be a useful method to help relieve some symptoms of chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and heart disease’ and an article titled Scientific Basis for Yoga Benefits says ‘a regular practice of yoga may lower an inflammatory protein that is normally linked to aging and stress.’

Even though I know that yoga is good for you, finding out that places such as the Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society have noticed the health benefits of a regular practice must mean that there’s something to it.

 

Sources

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/yoga/CM00004

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga

American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/mindbodyandspirit/yoga

Scientific Basis for Yoga Benefits: http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/01/12/scientific-basis-for-yoga-benefits/10693.html

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