5 science-based benefits of yoga

Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yuji, which means union. It is an ancient practice that brings the mind and body together. Breathing exercises, meditation, and poses are incorporated in yoga. They are done to encourage relaxation and reduce stress.

Though yoga is known to have benefits for both the mind and body, one can sort out which ones are myths and which ones are backed with evidence. Professional yoga practitioners like those from Kula Yoga Studio advocate the kind of yoga that truly gives you benefits. Read on to learn about the benefits of yoga that are based on science.

Decreases stress

Multiple studies have shown that yoga can decrease the secretion of cortisol which is the primary stress hormone. 

Another study also demonstrated the wonderful aiding effect of yoga on stress by following 24 women who were suffering from emotional stress. After a three-month yoga program, they had significantly lower levels of cortisol. Similarly, they also had lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.

A study of 131 people also bore similar results. It showed that 10 weeks of yoga helped in reducing stress and anxiety, improving the overall quality of life and mental health.

Relieves Anxiety

Some people who commit themselves to practice yoga are those who want to cope with feelings of anxiety. Yoga as a coping mechanism for anxiety is proven to be successful according to a study. 

34 women diagnosed with anxiety disorder were asked to participate in yoga classes twice per week for two months. At the end of the study, participants who practised yoga had significantly lower levels of anxiety compared to the control group.

Improves flexibility and balance 

Many fitness enthusiasts add yoga to their fitness routine in order to improve flexibility and balance. Research has demonstrated that yoga can optimize performance through the use of poses that enhance flexibility and balance. For older adults, a 2013 study found out that yoga can help them with flexibility and balance.

May reduce inflammation 

In 2015, there was a study that divided 218 participants into two groups. One group practised yoga regularly and the other one did not. When both groups were asked to perform strenuous exercises, the group that practised yoga regularly had lower levels of inflammatory markers than the other group.

May improve cardiovascular health

Studies show that yoga may help in improving heart health and reduce factors that contribute to heart disease. 

A study found out that participants aged over 40 years who practised yoga for five years had lower blood pressure and pulse rate than those who did not. Lower blood pressure can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which is a major cause of heart problems such as heart attacks and stroke.

This is why yoga is for everyone, even the elderly. If you join yoga communities like Kula Yoga Studio, you may be already familiar with the fact that yoga is for everyone, across different generations.

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