Benefits of Yoga
Yoga improves quality of life. It has been linked to positive effects for people dealing with a wide range of health challenges – depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, osteoporosis, arthritis, back pain, PMS, asthma, cancer, high blood pressure…the list goes on.
In addition, yoga expands creativity, strength, flexibility, respiratory efficiency, happiness, peace of mind…again the list goes on. People from all walks of life are able to apply yoga to their lives – top performers in all fields attribute their ability to be in “the zone” to the techniques of yoga.
We have done a Rasa Yoga Community Newsletter in the past on the benefits of yoga, and you can click below for an excerpt!
In addition, much research has been done on the effects of yoga. The list below offers just a couple references.
The Power of Yoga – Time Magazine
Meditation as Medicine by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD.
The following are just a few of the specific benefits of yoga, as discussed in the book Meditation as Medicine by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD.
The Relaxation Response
The Relaxation Response achieves the following biological reactions, which remain intact for several hours after meditation ends:
- Marked reduction in oxygen use
- Notably lower secretion of stress hormones
- Increase in immune factors
- Calm brain wave activity
As a result of these factors, meditators enjoyed improved health. Among the many improvements were the following:
- Premenstrual syndrome symptoms decreased by 57 percent
- Migraine headaches decreased notably
- Anxiety and depression were reduced significantly
- Working people missed fewer work days due to illness
- Patients with AIDS and cancer experienced decreased symptoms
- 75 percents of patients with insomnia were cured and almost 25 percent improved
- Patients with chronic pain required an average of 36 percent less treatment
- Patients with high blood pressure recovered completely or improved
Guided imagery and progressive relaxation have been shown to bring: improvements in cardiovascular function, use of oxygen, blood glucose levels, reactivity to stressors, and immune function. Mindfulness meditation has been proven to decrease panic attacks, decrease general anxiety, reduce levels of chronic pain, reduce incidence of headaches, improve response rates to drug and alcohol addiction treatment, and reduce obesity.
Mantra meditation has been shown to achieve the following:
- Reduction of anxiety
- Reduction of chronic pain
- Lowered levels of cortisol
- Increase in cognitive function
- Reduction of substance abuse
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improvement in post-traumatic stress syndrome
- Reduction in use of medical care and hospitalization Studies of mantra mediators who had been practicing for 5 years or more were physiologically 12 years younger than their non meditating counterparts. Those practicing shorter term were 5 years younger than the control group.