Yoga offers physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. And, if you’re going through an illness, recovering from surgery or living with a chronic condition, yoga can become an integral part of your treatment and potentially hasten healing.
1.- Reducing stress
People often practice yoga to reduce stress and aid relaxation. Scientists are now learning the mechanisms behind how yoga lowers stress.
Persistent surges of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, may damage blood vessels and elevate blood pressure.
However, research has shown that people who practice yoga regularly have low cortisol levelsTrusted Source.
Studies have also found that practicing yoga for at least 3 months may lower cortisol and perceived stress and reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause inflammation.
2.- Back pain relief
Yoga is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.
One study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that a 12 week yoga program improved scores for disability and pain intensity and reduced opioid use among military veterans.
Other research suggests that yoga is just as effective at relieving back pain as physical therapy. Yoga may also have lasting benefits for several months.
Numerous studies have shown that asana, meditation or a combination of the two reduced pain in people with arthritis, Carpel Tunnel syndrome, back pain and other chronic conditions. Yoga also increases proprioception and improves balance.
3.- Managing depression
Yoga should be considered as a complementary therapy or alternative method for medical therapy in the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders as it has been shown to create a greater sense of well-being, increase feelings of relaxation, improve self-confidence and body image, improve efficiency, better interpersonal relationships, increase attentiveness, lower irritability, and encourage an optimistic outlook on life.
A 2017 systematic review found that yoga could reduce depressive symptoms in many populations, including people with depressive disorder, pregnant and postpartum women, and caregivers.
4.- Stimulating brain function
Yogic practices inhibit the areas responsible for fear, aggressiveness and rage, and stimulate the rewarding pleasure centers in the median forebrain and other areas leading to a state of bliss and pleasure.
Yoga may stimulate brain function and give a boost to energy levels, according to several studies.
One 2017 study showed that Hatha yoga improved the brain’s executive functions, as well as people’s mood. Executive functions are brain activities related to goal directed behavior and regulating emotional responses and habits.
The discipline of yoga offers individuals a timeless and holistic model of health and healing and although it may not result in the complete elimination of physical diseases and/ or adverse conditions from the body it offers a holistic path of healing. There exists an indisputable connection between a person’s overall physical and mental health and the inner peace and well-being yoga is designed to achieve. Yoga suspends the fluctuations of the mind and by acting consciously, we live better and suffer less.