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14 Benefits of Yoga that are supported by science

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Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility. It helps with back pain relief. It can ease arthritis symptoms. Yoga benefits heart health. Yoga relaxes you, to help you sleep better. It can mean more energy and brighter moods. It helps you manage stress.

1. Can Decrease Stress

Yoga is well-known for its stress-relieving and relaxing properties. Multiple studies have indicated that it can reduce cortisol release, which is the principal stress hormone. One study followed 24 women who described themselves as emotionally upset to see how effective yoga is at reducing stress.




The women’s cortisol levels were considerably lower after a three-month yoga practice. They were also less stressed, anxious, tired, and depressed. Another study of 131 persons found that doing yoga for 10 weeks helped to lower stress and anxiety. It also aided in the improvement of one’s quality of life and mental health.

Yoga, when done alone or in conjunction with other stress-relieving techniques such as meditation, can be an effective strategy to manage stress. Yoga has been shown to help relieve stress and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

2. Helps to Relieve Anxiety

Many people start doing yoga as a solution to deal with their anxiety. Surprisingly, there is a lot of evidence that yoga can aid with anxiety reduction. 34 women with anxiety disorders participated in yoga courses twice a week for two months in one research.

Another study tracked 64 women who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by intense anxiety and fear following a traumatic experience. Women who practiced yoga once a week for 10 weeks had fewer PTSD symptoms. In fact, 52 percent of subjects no longer fit the criteria for PTSD at all.



Yoga’s ability to relieve anxiety symptoms isn’t completely understood. It does, however, stress the value of being present in the moment and attaining a sense of calm, which may aid in the treatment of anxiety.

3. It Has the Potential to Reduce Inflammation

Yoga, in addition to enhancing your mental health, has been shown in certain studies to reduce inflammation. Although inflammation is a normal immunological response, persistent inflammation can lead to pro-inflammatory disorders like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.



A 2015 study split 218 people into two groups: those who practiced yoga on a regular basis and those who didn’t. Both groups then engaged in moderate and intensive stress-inducing exercises. Individuals who practiced yoga had lower levels of inflammatory markers at the end of the trial than those who did not.

4. It Has the Potential to Improve Heart Health

The heart is a crucial component of general health because it pumps blood throughout the body and supplies vital nutrients to tissues. Yoga has been shown in studies to improve heart health and lower various risk factors for heart disease. According to one study, people over the age of 40 who practiced yoga for five years had lower blood pressure and pulse rates than those who didn’t.




One of the leading causes of heart diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, is high blood pressure. Lowering your blood pressure can help minimize your chances of developing these issues. According to several studies, including yoga in a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the course of heart disease.

5. Enhances one’s quality of life

Yoga is becoming more popular as an additional therapy to help people improve their quality of life. 135 seniors were randomly assigned to six months of yoga, walking, or a control group in one study. When compared to the other groups, yoga significantly improved quality of life, mood, and fatigue.




Other research has looked into how yoga can help cancer patients enhance their quality of life and minimize their symptoms. One study followed women who were taking chemotherapy for breast cancer. Yoga improved overall quality of life while reducing chemotherapy effects including nausea and vomiting.

A similar study looked at the effects of eight weeks of yoga on breast cancer patients. The women reported decreased pain and exhaustion at the end of the trial, as well as increased levels of vitality, acceptance, and relaxation.

6. It Has the Potential to Fight Depression

According to certain research, yoga may have an anti-depressant impact and may aid in the reduction of depression symptoms. This could be due to yoga’s ability to lower cortisol levels, a stress hormone that regulates serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter linked to depression.



Sudarshan Kriya, a style of yoga that focuses on rhythmic breathing, was used by participants in an alcohol addiction program in one research. Participants experienced fewer depressive symptoms and decreased cortisol levels after two weeks. They also exhibited lower amounts of ACTH, the hormone that stimulates cortisol production.

Other researchers have found a link between yoga practice and a reduction in depression symptoms. According to these findings, yoga may be useful in the treatment of depression, either alone or in combination with other treatments.

7. It Has the Potential to Reduce Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects millions of people and can be caused by a variety of factors, including traumas and arthritis. An increasing body of evidence suggests that practicing yoga can benefit people with a variety of chronic pain conditions.

Yoga was found to be more helpful than wrist splinting in lowering discomfort and enhancing grip strength at the end of the research. Another study from 2005 found that yoga could assist people with osteoarthritis of the knees to reduce pain and enhance physical function.




Incorporating yoga into your daily practice may be good for those who suffer from chronic pain, while further research is needed. Yoga is a form of exercise that has been practiced for may aid in the relief of chronic pain caused by illnesses such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

8. It Has the Potential to Improve Sleep Quality

Obesity, high blood pressure, and depression, among other illnesses, have all been linked to poor sleep quality. According to studies, including yoga in your daily practice can help. In a 2005 study, 69 elderly individuals were randomly allocated to one of three groups: yoga, herbal preparations, or the control group.




In comparison to the other groups, the yoga group fell asleep faster, slept longer, and felt more rested in the morning. Another study looked at the impact of yoga on sleep in cancer patients. It reduced sleep disruptions, enhanced sleep quality, and duration, and lowered the need for sleep medicines, according to the researchers.



Yoga has been proven to boost the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that governs sleep and wakefulness, albeit the mechanism is unknown. Yoga also helps with worry, sadness, chronic pain, and stress, all of which are typical causes of sleep disorders.

9. It helps with flexibility and balance.

To increase flexibility and balance, many people incorporate yoga into their fitness programs. This effect is backed up by a lot of research, which shows that it can improve performance by using certain poses that emphasize flexibility and balance.

The effects of ten weeks of yoga on 26 male collegiate athletes were investigated in a recent study. When compared to the control group, yoga dramatically improved key measures of flexibility and balance. In another study, 66 senior people were randomly allocated to either yoga or calisthenics, a sort of bodyweight exercise.




After a year, the yoga group’s total flexibility was approximately four times that of the calisthenics group. Yoga could also assist older persons to improve their balance and mobility, according to a 2013 study. For those trying to improve their performance by developing flexibility and balance, simply 15–30 minutes of yoga per day could make a major difference.

9. It helps with flexibility and balance.

To increase flexibility and balance, many people incorporate yoga into their fitness programs.
This effect is backed up by a lot of research, which shows that it can improve performance by using certain poses that emphasize flexibility and balance. The effects of ten weeks of yoga on 26 male collegiate athletes were investigated in a recent study. When compared to the control group, yoga dramatically improved key measures of flexibility and balance.




In another study, 66 senior people were randomly allocated to either yoga or calisthenics, a sort of bodyweight exercise.
After a year, the yoga group’s total flexibility was approximately four times that of the calisthenics group. Yoga could also assist older persons to improve their balance and mobility, according to a 2013 study. For those trying to improve their performance by developing flexibility and balance, simply 15–30 minutes of yoga per day could make a major difference.

10. It Might Help You Breathe Easier

Pranayama, or yogic breathing, is a yoga practice that focuses on breathing exercises and strategies to manage the breath.
These breathing techniques are included in most styles of yoga, and various studies have shown that practicing yoga can aid with breathing. 287 college students participated in a 15-week workshop in which they learned various yoga poses and breathing exercises. They experienced a considerable increase in vital capacity by the end of the research.




The maximum amount of air that can be exhaled from the lungs is measured by vital capacity. It is especially crucial for people who suffer from lung disease, heart disease, or asthma. A 2009 study indicated that practicing yogic breathing improved symptoms and lung function in people with mild-to-moderate asthma. Improving breathing can help you increase endurance, improve performance, and keep your lungs and heart healthy.

11. Migraines may be relieved

Migraines are severe, recurrent headaches that affect about one in every seven Americans each year. Medications have traditionally been used to ease and manage the symptoms of migraines. Yoga, on the other hand, may be an effective adjunct therapy for reducing migraine frequency, according to growing data.




For three months, 72 migraine patients were randomly assigned to either a yoga treatment or a self-care group in a 2007 study. When compared to the self-care group, yoga practitioners had lower headache intensity, frequency, and discomfort.
Another study used standard treatment with or without yoga to treat 60 migraine patients. Yoga reduced headache frequency and intensity more effectively than conventional treatment alone.

Yoga, according to researchers, may help stimulate the vagus nerve, which has been demonstrated to be useful in the treatment of migraines  Summary: Yoga, alone or in combination with conventional treatment, has been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve and lessen migraine intensity and frequency.

12. Encourages Good Eating Habits

The notion of mindful eating, also known as intuitive eating, encourages people to be present in the moment when eating.
It’s all about paying attention to your food’s taste, smell, and texture, as well as any thoughts, sentiments, or sensations you have while eating.




This method has been demonstrated to encourage healthy eating habits that aid in blood sugar control, weight loss, and the treatment of disordered eating patterns. Yoga, which places a similar emphasis on mindfulness, has been shown in certain studies to be effective in encouraging healthy eating habits.

One study found that incorporating yoga into an outpatient eating disorder treatment program significantly reduce both eating disorder symptoms and food obsession in 54 participants. Another short study looked at how yoga affected symptoms of binge eating disorder, a disorder marked by obsessive feasting and a sense of helplessness.



Yoga was proven to reduce binge-eating episodes, boost physical activity, and result in a little weight loss).
Mindfulness via yoga can help people with and without disordered eating habits create good eating habits.
In conclusion, yoga promotes awareness, which can be used to promote mindful eating and good eating habits.

13. Has the Potential to Increase Strength

Yoga is a terrific supplement to an exercise regimen for its strength-building effects in addition to improving flexibility.
Yoga positions, in fact, are specifically designed to develop strength and muscle mass.
In one study, 79 adults did 24 cycles of sun salutations six days a week for 24 weeks, which is a series of basic positions commonly used as a warm-up.

Their upper-body strength, endurance, and weight loss all improved significantly. Women’s body fat percentages decreased as well. Similar outcomes were found in a 2015 study, which found that 173 individuals improved their endurance, strength, and flexibility after 12 weeks of exercise. According to these studies, yoga can be a good technique to increase strength and endurance, especially when combined with a regular workout routine. Yoga has been shown in several studies to increase strength, endurance, and flexibility.

14. Yoga can help you get rid of back pain

In patients with lower back discomfort, yoga is just as effective as basic stretching at relieving pain and improving mobility. Yoga is recommended as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain by the American College of Physicians.




Give it a shot: Pose of a Cat with a Cow
Place your palms beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips while on all fours. Inhale first, allowing your stomach to sink toward the floor. Exhale while drawing your navel toward your spine and arching your spine like a cat stretching.

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