Does Yoga Actually Work?

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What good does yoga even do? Isn’t it just exaggerated stretching? If you want to do good by your body, shouldn’t weights be involved? Or at least running?

Yoga is becoming more and more popular, and there is a good reason for it. This type of exercise ranges from extremely easy to “how does their body do that?” People everywhere are feeling changes to their body and mind from these routines. But is their science to back the claims of all of the yogis out there?

Depression

When you suffer from depression, it can get annoying when everyone has advice. In the sense of, “Do you even know what you’re talking about?” It seems like everyone is filled with empty advice, but doing yoga isn’t useless advice at all.

Research shows that doing yoga on a regular basis can help with depression by significantly increasing serotonin levels. It can also decrease the level of monamine oxidase, which is an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters and cortisol. Achieving the tranquility that yoga has to offer can also reduce stress levels and give you a more optimistic look on life.

Cardiovascular Disease

The risk factors that can cause cardiovascular disease are mainly involved with your lifestyle. If you smoke cigarettes, have a poor diet, or don’t exercise enough you might find yourself with heart problems. Many people find it challenging to exercise from being so overweight it hurts or having a physical condition that keeps them from doing so, making some people turn to yoga.

Studies suggest that yoga could be a useful tool for cardiovascular rehabilitation. Randomized trials have shown that practicing yoga has the ability to reduce atherosclerosis and can slow down the process of coronary obstructions with the help of a low-fat vegetarian diet. Studies are limited, and the sample sizes are small, but researchers believe that yoga could have a lasting impact on heart health.

Arthritis

Arthritis causes stiff joints and pain, which can lead to many people reducing the amount of activity they do to cope with the pain. This can make their problems worse and bring on a whole new set of issues that come from inactivity.

Concerns about activity aggravating inflammation have been outdated, and now it is suggested to exercise regularly to help treat arthritis. Studies show that stretching and holding poses can increase strength and stabilize muscles. Yoga has even shown to increase endurance in patients with arthritis.

Back Pain

Back pain can make any form of activity painful, even sitting. It can be a constant pain from an old injury or a chronic illness, or your back can abruptly start to hurt after lifting something heavy. The last thing you might want to do is stretch and hold your body, but research suggests you might want to start.

When studying patients with lower back pain, researchers found that the participants reported on improved mobility and a reduction in pain. The study also high lights the fact that patients who were doing yoga and also in physical therapy were more likely to stop taking their painkillers. This leads them to believe that structured yoga classes could be a valid replacement for physical therapy with lower back pain.

How To Start Doing Yoga

If you just google yoga poses or watch someone on Youtube, you can risk doing the poses and stretches incorrectly which can actually make your condition worse. You could also create new conditions having your body move and twist in ways it wasn’t meant to. The best thing you can do is find an educated yogi who can teach you these poses and routines so that you can get the best out of the exercise.

Sarah Potts

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