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November 12, 2021

In the last few decades, the spread of yoga has increased greatly. Even medical professionals and celebrities are embracing yoga and recommending its regular practice for its many benefits. While some view yoga as simply another fad and associate it with new age mysticism, others affirm how amazing this form of exercise feels. What they don't understand is that what they see as simply another form of exercise is actually benefiting them in ways they never imagined.

Before we get into the benefits of yoga, it is important to understand what exactly yoga actually is. Yoga is not a religion, it is a way of life that aims at a healthy mind in a healthy body. Humans are physical, mental and spiritual beings; yoga helps to balance all three, as stated in Indian Ayurveda. Other forms of exercise, such as aerobics, only provide physical well-being. These exercises have very little to do with improving the mental or astral body.

Yoga is not just about bending or twisting your body and holding your breath. It is a technique that brings you into a state of simply seeing and experiencing reality as it is. When you allow your energies to become exuberant and ecstatic, your sensory body expands. This allows you to experience the whole universe as a part of yourself and everything becomes one - this is the oneness that yoga creates. These are the 5 benefits of yoga that are scientifically proven.


1. can reduce stress

Stress vermindern

Yoga is known to reduce stress and promote relaxation. In fact, several studies have shown that it can reduce the release of cortisol, the main stress hormone. In one study, the powerful effects of yoga on stress were demonstrated by observing 24 women who perceived themselves to be emotionally stressed.

After a three-month yoga program, the women showed significantly lower cortisol levels. They also had lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Another study of 131 people found similar results: 10 weeks of yoga helped reduce stress and anxiety. It also improved quality of life and mental health. Alone or in conjunction with other stress reduction methods, such as meditation, yoga can be an effective way to keep stress at bay.


2. alleviates anxiety

Lindert Ängste Yoga

Many people start practicing yoga to cope with their anxiety. Interestingly, there is quite a bit of research showing that yoga can help reduce anxiety.


In one study, 34 women diagnosed with an anxiety disorder participated in yoga classes twice a week for two months. At the end of the study, the participants who practiced yoga had significantly less anxiety than the control group.


Another study followed 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by severe anxiety and fear following a traumatic event. After 10 weeks, the women who practiced yoga once a week had fewer symptoms of PTSD. In fact, 52% of the participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all.


It's not entirely clear how yoga can reduce symptoms of anxiety. However, it does emphasize the importance of being present in the moment and finding a sense of calm, which could help with anxiety.


3. may reduce inflammation

Kann die EntzĂŒndung reduzieren

Some studies suggest that yoga not only improves mental health, but it can also reduce inflammation.Inflammation is a normal response of the immune system, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

In a 2015 study, 218 participants were divided into two groups: those who practiced yoga regularly and those who did not. Both groups then performed moderate and strenuous exercise to induce stress.At the end of the study, the participants who practiced yoga had lower levels of inflammatory markers than those who did not.

Similarly, a small 2014 study showed that 12 weeks of yoga reduced inflammatory markers in breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue.

Although more research is needed to confirm yoga's positive effects on inflammation, these findings suggest that yoga may help protect against certain diseases caused by chronic inflammation.


4. could improve heart health

Herzgesundheit verbessern

From pumping blood through the body to delivering essential nutrients to tissues, heart health is an essential part of overall health.Studies show that yoga can help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease.One study found that participants over 40 who practiced yoga for five years had lower blood pressure and pulse rates than those who did not.High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart problems such as heart attack and stroke. Lowering blood pressure may help reduce the risk of these problems.


Some research also suggests that incorporating yoga into a healthy lifestyle may help slow the progression of heart disease.One study followed 113 patients with heart disease and examined the effects of a lifestyle change that included a year of yoga training combined with dietary changes and stress management.Participants saw a 23% drop in total cholesterol and a 26% drop in "bad" LDL cholesterol. In addition, heart disease progression was halted in 47% of patients.


It's unclear to what extent yoga may have played a role compared to other factors like diet. But it may minimize stress, one of the major factors in heart disease.


5. improves quality of life

Verbessert die LebensqualitÀt

Yoga is increasingly being used as a complementary therapy to improve the quality of life for many people.

In one study, 135 seniors were assigned to either a six-month yoga practice, a walk, or a control group. The yoga practice significantly improved quality of life, mood, and fatigue compared to the other groups.Other studies have examined how yoga can improve the quality of life of cancer patients and relieve their symptoms.

In one study, women with breast cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy were observed. Yoga reduced the symptoms of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting, while improving overall quality of life.A similar study looked at how eight weeks of yoga affected women with breast cancer. At the end of the study, the women had less pain and fatigue and felt more empowered, accepted and relaxed.Other studies have found that yoga can help cancer patients improve sleep quality, increase spiritual well-being, improve social function, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.


What do you think of these benefits?


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