6 Surprising Ways Yoga Can Benefit Your Health, According to Research

Yoga Benefit Your Health

Your quality of sleep, the health of your heart, and other aspects of your body can all benefit from regular yoga practice. The following information should enlighten you regarding the positive effects that yoga can have on your body.

It has long been believed that practicing yoga is beneficial to both the mind and the body. Are there any other health benefits to practicing yoga besides from increased flexibility, the acquisition of yogic breathing methods, and the strengthening of muscles? (The twist is that there are, and some of them are rather shocking!) When it comes to reaping the advantages of yoga, years of practice are not always necessary; sometimes, all that is required is a short period of time (a few weeks or less). Consider the following information regarding the health benefits of yoga practice.

The health benefits of yoga are as follows:

It brings down the levels of chronic inflammation.

A quick review: acute inflammation, such as the redness that appears around a cut, is quite normal. Ongoing or chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can be harmful and is the underlying cause of a wide variety of chronic illnesses, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and many others. The practice of yoga has been demonstrated in a number of studies to reduce key inflammatory markers (C-reactive proteins and cytokines, for example), as well as increase the production of chemicals that assist alleviate inflammation.

It is also noteworthy that even a brief period of time spent practicing yoga consistently can have significant results. In one experiment, some of the individuals were asked to participate in a 10-day yoga intervention that included included classes on how to deal with stress. After 10 days, those who participated in the yoga and stress management group had reduced levels of cortisol, which is the hormone associated with stress, as well as many other substances that drive inflammation.

It decreases stress.

Chronic stress can suppress the immune system and hinder your body’s reaction to an illness-causing intruder. Not only does stress effect our mental health (more on that below), but it can also have an impact on our physical health. Cortisol levels can be lowered by practicing yoga, and in particular by learning the breathing methods that are taught during yoga. The method of deep, rhythmic breathing that is emphasized and taught in yoga has been shown to stimulate the production of particular hormones that help people feel more at ease. (They also encourage feelings of camaraderie and bonding, and having friends is a healthy way to relieve stress!) In addition, frequent yoga practitioners see a gradual decrease in activity in the region of the brain that is responsible for the production of norepinephrine in reaction to stressful situations.

Even a short period of time spent training can be beneficial: Employees took part in a study that was conducted in 2018 and were assigned to one of two groups: one group participated in a yoga intervention that lasted for 16 weeks, while the other group initially participated in yoga for 8 weeks but then switched to “normal” workweeks for the remaining 8 weeks. At the conclusion of the research project, both groups saw a reduction in levels of stress and anxiety, in addition to an improvement in their general sense of well-being.

It is beneficial to one’s mental health.

Yoga is beneficial for your mood and outlook regardless of whether or not you have a mental health illness that can be diagnosed. The practice of yoga may stimulate the creation of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which are neurotransmitters and hormones that have natural antidepressant characteristics. Research in this area suggests this may be the case. To put it another way, researchers have shown a correlation between low levels of GABA and mental health problems such as schizophrenia, anxiety, sadness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In addition, patients diagnosed with clinical depression have benefited from frequent yoga practice. Patients participated in one trial where they either took medication, performed yoga, or participated in a combination of the two. Both of the groups that practiced yoga observed an improvement in their cortisol levels, and the yoga-only group had a decrease in their depression survey ratings. This finding is interesting.

It is beneficial to the heart’s health.

It is beneficial to the health of the heart to maintain a low level of chronic inflammation, which can be helped by practicing yoga. However, yoga also provides several other benefits that are beneficial to the heart. Patients with heart failure who participated in a study and followed a yoga program for around three months showed significant improvements in their heart rate, blood pressure, and other critical markers compared to those who received standard medical therapy alone. Another study found that people with high blood pressure were able to improve their pressure with yoga (together with blood pressure medication). However, those who were considered to be “pre-hypertensive” did not see a reduction in their blood pressure as a result of practicing yoga. This finding is interesting.

It makes for a more restful night’s sleep.

According to a review study that was published in 2017 in the journal Children, practicing yoga has been shown to increase melatonin, which is a hormone that assists us in falling asleep and remaining asleep. It has been suggested that practicing yoga can improve both the quantity and quality of sleep. Since GABA, an important neurotransmitter for mental health, also plays a part in the regulation of sleep, practicing yoga, which promotes GABA synthesis, is also beneficial for your nocturnal rest, it is crucial to note.

It offers “conventional” workout enthusiasts equivalent benefits.

Some aspects of yoga, such as the variety of physical postures that are collectively referred to as asanas, are analogous to exercises that are performed for physical fitness. However, other aspects, such as regulated yogic breathing and meditation, which both contribute to the health benefits listed above, are less “exercise-like.” However, after doing a comparison of the benefits of yoga and other forms of exercise, researchers came to the conclusion that yoga offers mental and physical health benefits that are comparable to those of fitness activity.

There are occasions when yoga is more effective than more traditional forms of exercise. As an illustration, in two separate studies (one conducted on individuals between the ages of middle age and elderly and the other on adolescents), it was found that engaging in yoga practice for eight weeks increased mood, reduced anxiety, and resulted in less verbal aggression.

The Crux of the Matter

Practicing yoga has several positive effects on one’s health, including enhancements to one’s cardiovascular system and an improvement in the quality of one’s sleep. Therefore, get out there and enroll in a class, or use an app to practice on your own at home.

One other thing: if you have a condition that requires pharmaceuticals or medical care, you shouldn’t use yoga as a replacement for those things, because yoga isn’t, and it shouldn’t be. Yoga, on the other hand, has the ability to either be a preventive tool or a technique that is used as an adjuvant to pharmaceuticals and medical care that is recommended by a doctor.