Dr. Kim Foster: Wicked Health


7 Health Benefits Of Yoga

an ancient route to health and happiness

I’m a huge fan of yoga. I routinely prescribe it, for everything from back pain to insomnia. My love for yoga is personal, but it’s also professional. And the best part? It’s backed up by a whole lot of research.

Here are some of the ways yoga can make you healthier and happier:

1. Yoga can help treat depression.

There are many reasons yoga is a wonderful adjunctive or alternative therapy for depression. It’s stress-relieving, promotes mindfulness, and is a good form of exercise—strategies known to improve depression.

2. Yoga can improve your heart health.

Yoga has been shown to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. It may also reduce cholesterol. Some studies have also suggested that yoga boosts our natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory processessignificant factors in preventing heart disease.

3. Yoga can treat your chronic back pain.

Chronic back pain can be notoriously difficult to treat. In a recent British study, yoga was shown to be superior to “regular care” for treating chronic back pain. 

4. Yoga can give you a better night’s sleep.

Several studies have demonstrated yoga’s ability to improve sleep—even for people suffering insomnia-ridden conditions like menopause.

5. Yoga can help treat chronic health conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis.

If you happen to suffer this autoimmune type of arthritis, yoga could be especially good for you, too. Some early research has shown improvement in both physical and psychological symptoms when patients participate in a yoga program.

6. Yoga can alleviate the symptoms of menopause.

Yoga appears to help with a variety of symptoms associated with menopause and peri-menopauseinsomnia, mood changes, and maybe even hot flashes.

7. Yoga can help you cope with stress.

There is plenty of evidence for the stress-busting benefits of yoga. I attribute this to yoga’s superb blend of these factors: meditation, breathing, physical exercise, and relaxation. And who couldn’t benefit from a little help managing stress?

See you at the yoga studio...

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image credit: modified from CC image at professiongal