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Yoga Health Benefits

Yoga and meditation are becoming increasingly popular among people of all ages, as individuals and science discover the many physical, mental, and spiritual health benefits of regular practice

From increased fitness, mobility and strength to an improved mood and a strong immune system, yoga offers you a wealth of health benefits to help you feel and be healthy and happy

Scroll down to discover the many yoga health benefits

teacher demonstrating yoga health benefits

The Health Benefits Of Yoga

From pain relief to improving your cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive health and improving your mood and brain function, science has shown that regular yoga practice can improve every aspect of your health

Yoga reduces cortisol levels in the body, the hormone responsible for stress. It encourages mindfulness and emotional regulation, helping you cultivate a deeper awareness of your breath, bodily sensations, and emotions

Whether you practice once a week or every day, yoga is an excellent way to nurture your body and enjoy peace and well-being.

Though originally intended to treat the cranium, modern cranial osteopathy refers to a treatment modality and can be applied to all body parts

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient Indian system for integrating mind and body to achieve personal growth, inner harmony and health. Meaning union, the goal of yoga is to achieve mind – body unity. To become whole – and happy. Historically yoga comes in four flavours

  • yoga of inquiry & wisdom – jñana
  • yoga of love and devotion – bhakti
  •  yoga of selfless action – karma
  • yoga of structure & method – raja (kingly) or 8-limbed (ashta-anga) yoga
yoga and cranial osteopathy class

Hatha Yoga

Hatha is what we in the modern world understand by yoga, and likely derived from the eight-limbed Raja yoga. Hatha yoga works with the body to bring about integration, health and happiness

The majority of modern-day schools of yoga are hatha. From hot, dynamic and vinyasa flow to yin, functional and kundalini yoga, all are hatha traditions emphasizing different aspects and styles of practice

  • Hatha brings awareness to your movement to release tension and help you use your body optimally
  • Hatha directs attention to your breath  to calm your mind, soothe anxiety and stress and help you enjoy health, tranquility and happiness

Science & Yoga
Health Benefits

With decades of rigorous scientific scrutiny demonstrating yoga health benefits in virtually every area of your wellbeing, it’s no wonder yoga has enjoyed worldwide popularity with people of all ages, fitness levels and walks of life. Click the tabs to see how you can enjoy the fantastic health benefits of yoga

Yoga Benefits: Structural Health

yoga health benefits for back and neck pain

Low Back Pain

A catch all for pain in the absence of serious signs such as trapped nerve, mechanical low back pain is the commonest form

It resolves withing 2-3 weeks, or can persist to become chronic

Yoga has been shown to be helpful with this type of back pain, particularly in its chronic form (R Singh 2016, Cramer et al 2013, A.M.Diaz et al 2013)

Neck Pain

Though neck pain has been less extensively studied than low-back-pain two systematic reviews have established a positive link between yoga and reduction in pain and disability (Sang-Dol Kim 2016, Sang-Dol Kim 2016)

Tension Headache

Tension type headache is the most common form with a world-wide prevalence of 50%

Systematic reviews have yielded positive results from yoga practice, with improvements in pain severity, frequency and duration (Kim, Sang Dol. 2015, Anheyer D et al 2019)

Osteoarthritis

Osteo-arthritis is joint pain from wear-and-tear. Associated with age, it can affect younger people, eg. after injury

Though wear is not significantly reversible pain and stiffness decrease with improved joint function

Systematic reviews have found yoga helps with osteoarthritis related pain, stiffness and function (L Kan et al 2016, Lauche et al 2019)

Yoga Benefits: Internal Health

the benefits of yoga for internal health

Cardiovascular

Yoga has been found to reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular health at levels comparable to aerobic exercise (Chu 2014, Cramer 2014, Barrows 2016)

yoga decreases physiological arousal leading to a reduction in circulating stress hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, moderation of the breathing pattern and pain perception

A systematic review focusing on yoga for blood pressure has also reached positive conclusions

Respiratory

Asthma is a respiratory disease with symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing

It can be triggered by allergens, exercise or following a common cold

Reviews have found moderate evidence that yoga can improve quality of life in asthma sufferers and be considered an ancillatory intervention (cramer 2014, Yang 2016)

Yoga is also helpful in managing two common stress-related conditions: breathing pattern disorders and hyperventilation syndrome (Jones et al, 2013)

Irritable Bowel

IBS is a common condition of unknown cause affecting the digestive system, with symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. It affects 11 of 26 people globally

A 2016 systematic review (Schumann 2016) concludes that ” yoga might be a feasible and safe adjunctive treatment for people with IBS”

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disease of unkown origin characterized by muscle & joint pain, fatigue, insomina, brain-fog
and feeling, anxious or depressed

A 2013 systematic review (Langhorst et al) found that yoga and other mindfulness-based movement therapies (Qigong & Tai Chi) demonstrated improvements in sleep. fatigue, depression & health-related quality of life. Yoga provided additional pain relief

Yoga Benefits: Mental Health

the benefits of yoga for mental health

Stress

Together with being sedentary, stress is one of the biggest killers of adults worldwide

Perceived stress creates arousal with effects including a rise in blood pressure, systemic inflammation, anxiety and a lowering of your mood and energy

Studies show that many movement therapies, including yoga, dance, Tai ‘Chi and others are effective means of managing stress

Anxiety

Studies have found yoga is effective for managing anxiety and is a valuable adjunct to psychotherapy in dealing with anxiety disorder

The multiplicity of yoga practices provide a way to offer you activities that are suitable for you needs

Depression

2 systematic reviews conclude that yoga is an effective tool for individuals with elevated levels of depression and those diagnosed with major depressive disorder (Hanson 2016, Cramer 2013)

Brain Power

The evidence for yoga and other mind-body systems improving cognitive function is strong

Reviews conclude that yoga improves executive function, memory, attention and processing speed

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