Yoga benefits the human body in many ways. The most obvious of these is improved flexibility. When you first start practicing yoga, you might not be able to touch your toes, let alone do a backbend. But you will soon find that your body gradually relaxes and aches and pains subside. Tight hips can put strain on the knee joint, while flattened lumbar vertebrae can lead to poor posture.
Researchers have also found that yoga can help reduce the level of harmful inflammation in the body. This is based on the reduced levels of inflammatory blood markers. This finding was noted in a recent randomized control trial that included cancer patients and survivors. The study also revealed that yoga may help lower certain risk factors for heart disease. The research is still preliminary, but it does indicate that yoga can be beneficial for the heart. But further studies are needed to prove that these effects can be observed.
In addition to these physical benefits, yoga is also extremely cost effective. You can find free or inexpensive online yoga classes. Because yoga affects many systems in the body, it is possible to learn how to perform poses anywhere. Yoga may also have a positive impact on the endocrine system, which controls hormones in the body. Yoga can help relieve stress, which is a common symptom of chronic stress and disease. There are even some scientific studies that have shown that yoga can help the endocrine system as well.
A study that involved cancer patients showed that daily yoga practice helped them improve their quality of life and decrease the effects of chemotherapy. Patients who participated in yoga classes reported improved levels of sleep and reduced side effects. Furthermore, they reported better levels of melatonin secretion, a hormone that regulates sleep. Yoga has also been shown to significantly improve depression, anxiety, and chronic pain in the body. These benefits extend far beyond physical benefits.
One of the most important physical benefits of yoga is its ability to induce a “relaxation response”. This is an alpha state between sleep and wakefulness. Yoga lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate and eases respiration. According to Herbert Benson, this is known as the relaxation response. In a 2015 study, women who practiced yoga twice a week had greater reductions in anxiety than those who did not.
Several studies have shown that regular yoga practice can reduce blood pressure and pulse rate. These are two of the leading causes of heart problems, and lowering blood pressure helps to reduce the risk of developing them. Interestingly, yoga has also been shown to slow down the progression of heart disease. This study followed 113 patients who had heart disease and followed their progress using yoga training and dietary changes. In addition to these benefits, yoga is known to promote healthy eating and reduce stress.