What's the Benefit of Practicing Yoga?
Yoga Effectiveness Under Clinical TrialsMany studies have examined the benefits of yoga. Over 1,600 studies are currently underway to check the benefits. Most of these show that the effects are good.
Yoga reportedly increases blood circulation and nutrient-supply to the body while providing deep relaxation to the practitioner.
Heart and Blood CirculationAt Menninger Foundation, Kansas, researchers found that yoga meditation affects the heart and improves blood circulation.
Asthma and EnergyA study published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet (1990), reported that yoga breathing reduces the frequency of asthma attacks. At the same time, an Oxford study found that yoga breathing is more effective in restoring energy than relaxation or visualizations.
Stress and YogaIn a study, rats that were placed on head stands for an hour each day and subjected to shocks were shown to be more adaptable to stressful conditions compared to other rats. Human beings who practice postures like head stands are also shown to be more "stress hardy."
Lower AnxietyAnother benefit of yoga is that it reduces depression and makes you calm. People who practiced yogic meditation were shown to increase their skin resistance (i.e., feel less stress and strain) by 200 percent within only 10 minutes of beginning to meditate. The anxiety level remained low for a long period after the meditation session ended.
Blood and CholesterolYoga has been shown to lower blood pressure, diminish accumulated carbon dioxide and relax the mind. When used along with dietary changes, it can reduce cholesterol levels by 14 points in three weeks.
ArthritisThe British Journal of Rheumatology (1994) reported that yoga benefits patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Other ProblemsYoga has also been used successfully as an adjunctive therapy for asthma, migraine and cancer. A regular yoga practice involves improving the life of people suffering from diabetes by lowering their sugar levels.
PsychologicallyYoga also has psychological benefits. Thus, it is used for drug treatment among prisoners, to help people stop smoking and in improving job satisfaction.
~ Ajeet Khurana