In 2014, the UN declared June 21 to be the International Day of yoga, a sporting and spiritual practice with benefits for physical and mental health. Like any discipline that helps us move and takes us away from a sedentary lifestyle, yoga has obvious health benefits, such as a lower risk of obesity or cardiovascular disease. But, in addition, due to its characteristics, yoga has other benefits, not only for our body, but also for our mind. Let’s see a few.
Helps control weight, diabetes and cardiovascular risk
Even if it seems to be a relaxed discipline, yoga also burns a lot of calories, more than one could imagine a priori, because in full course you can burn about 500 calories. Practiced regularly, yoga therefore allows you to maintain a healthy weight, with all that this implies for general health: less cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, Diabeteshypertension… Indeed, a study conducted in Indiaconcluded that in three months, this discipline could help reduce weight, as well as metabolic diseases related to it, such as diabetes.
Other studies, such as the one published by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology or in PMC Europe They also associate the practice of yoga with better control of cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors, such as atherosclerosis.
It can improve stress, anxiety and even depression
In addition to the purely physiological effects, the regular practice of yoga can have many effects on our psychological and mental health, as it helps to control stress and anxiety. anxiety. These benefits are proven by various studies. In fact, in a Systematic review of 25 studies, it is concluded that these investigations “provide preliminary evidence suggesting that yoga practice leads to better regulation of the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system, as well as a decrease in depressive and anxiety symptoms in a variety of populations. There are also other studies that link the practice of yoga to an improvement in the symptoms of the Depression and its benefits in addition to pharmacological treatments.
This is due not only to the physical exercise itself, which also improves anxiety and stress, but also to the very nature of yoga classes, which are often accompanied by breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation, with proven benefits on cognitive functions.
Improves muscles and helps control symptoms of osteoarthritis
The practice of yoga improves flexibility, balance, posture and strengthens the muscles, which in itself already has many benefits for our health and well-being, such as the reduction of muscle pain – especially in the back, neck and lower back – or avoid the risk of falls, with all that that entails, especially after a certain age. In addition, practicing yoga strengthens the muscles, which is also linked to less chronic pain, a faster metabolism (you burn more calories) and a lower risk of suffering from osteoporosis.
Additionally, regular yoga practice has also been shown to reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, as suggested by a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. This study concludes that after eight weeks of practicing yoga two days a week, patients with knee osteoarthritis improved significantly, “yoga may provide a feasible treatment option for patients over 50 who had never practiced yoga and offers potential reductions in pain and disability caused by osteoarthritis of the knee.”
Other General Benefits of Yoga
Among others benefits attributed to yoga in Medlinealthough with less scientific evidence, we also find:
• Strengthen the immune system
• Help you fall asleep
• Increase self-esteem
• Improve your coordination
• Improve your concentration
• Digestion aid
-Dr. Syed Sadat Ali. “Effects of Yoga – Pranayama Practices on Metabolic Parameters and Anthropometry in Type 2 Diabetes”. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, Vol. 1, no. October 10, 2011, https://updatepublishing.com/journal/index.php/imrj/article/view/2681.
-Paula Chu, Rinske A Gotink, Gloria Y Yeh, Sue J Goldie, MG Myriam Hunink (2014). “The effectiveness of yoga in modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2047487314562741
-Manchanda SC1, Narang R, Reddy KS, Sachdeva U, Prabhakaran D, Dharmanand S, Rajani M, Bijlani R. “Delay of coronary atherosclerosis with yoga lifestyle intervention. The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India ”, 1 July 2000, 48(7):687-694.
-Michaela C.PascoeaIsabelle E.Bauerb. “A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of the effects of yoga on measures of stress and mood”. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Volume 68, September 2015, pages 270-282. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S002239561500206X?via%3Dihub
-David Shapiro 1, Ian A Cook, Dmitry M Davydov, Cristina Ottaviani, Andrew F Leuchter, Michelle Abrams. “Yoga as a Complementary Treatment for Depression: Effects of Traits and Moods on Treatment Outcomes”. Evid Based Complement Alternate Med. 2007 Dec;4(4):493-502. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18227917/
-Sharon L. Kolasinski, Marian Garfinkel, Adam Gilden Tsai, Whitney Matz, Alison Van Dyke, H. Ralph SchumacherJr. “Iyengar yoga for the treatment of symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knees: a pilot study”. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Vol. 11, No. 4 (2005). https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2005.11.689