The benefits of yoga are stacked and there are a lot of studies that are providing solid proof that it’s all legitimate. You really can reduce your level of stress, stave off cancer, and reduce chronic pain. The benefits of yoga in fact so powerful, they have proven to help addicts and those with clinical mood disorders. Here are some studies that prove yoga really does offer health benefits.
Some of the medical journals that have studied the benefits of yoga include;
Physical and mental ailments of all magnitudes have been found to improve when a person practices yoga.
The European Journal of Preventative Cardiology found that one of the benefits of yoga is that it helps in the reduction of heart disease risk. Participants involved in the studies ranged from young and healthy to older with some health issues. The overall consensus was that people who took yoga classes did see improvements in regards to the various factors affecting risk in heart disease.
The average participant lost five pounds, reduced their blood pressure by an average of five points and lowered their level of cholesterol by 12 points.
An associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Gloria Yeh, had this to say about the benefits of yoga,
“Yoga is unique because it incorporates physical activity, breathing, and meditation.”
Each of these elements have been found to influence the cardiovascular system in a positive way.
Studies in neuroscience show that yoga can help the mind regain it’s ability to remember things. As time goes by, our memory can begin to slip but science has found that you can retrain the area of your brain that holds your memory.
The brain is capable of regenerating but you have to help it out. The strange thing is neuroscientists don’t know why yoga works but through their research, there is no contesting that it does improve brain function. Yoga encompasses posture, meditation, exercise and focused breathing. All of these practices promote a healthy mind.
There is no doubt that yoga combats stress and anxiety. It is often used in therapy because studies have found it to be a complimentary part of healing. Yoga has been found to produce a physiological state that opposes our fight-or-flight stress response. With this interruption in the stress response, we gain a sense of balance within ourselves.
The fight or flight response was useful when we were running away from dinosaurs. Today, there is little we need to fear but the instincts within us still exist to deal with ‘potential danger.’ The brain sees an unknown situation as potentially deadly. It will conjure up the worst case scenario for the sake of protecting us.
So dealing with a work problem you’ve never experienced could cause the body to react as though you were being chased by a lion. The stomach shrinks, you start to experience cold sweats and all the blood seems to have left your brain. When you are constantly coping with this kind of stress, it causes your brains chemistry to change. It causes damage that manifests into problems concentrating, forgetfulness, and confusion.
When you practice yoga, the mind gets blood flowing back into the brain. You also calm the nervous system so you are less likely to react in a stressful manner.
Cortisol is a hormone that is released when we feel stress. We need cortisol but in this modern age, full of stress, we cause our bodies to release too much cortisol. Cortisol is considered a number 1 health risk because it causes your brain chemistry to change. This can cause long-term damage. Cortisol is released when the body is under stress.
The benefits of yoga have been found to significantly reduce levels of cortisol in the body. This means that if you have been under stress, yoga would be an important way to fight off the damage you’ve already done. Studies have found that patients not only experience a drop in cortisol but also a reduction of symptoms from clinical anxiety and depression.
Scientific studies aside, for any of you who have been coming to my yoga classes regularly, you have probably felt therapeutic yoga benefits. Maybe you’ve even found the spiritual aspects of yourself that you didn’t feel beforehand. My online courses will help you do daily yoga so you can stave off health issues. When you practice daily, your body, mind, and soul really only require a short session.