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7 useful health benefits of Yoga

Researches from the around the world have conducted several studies over the years to illustrate the various health benefits of Yoga. We list a few...

>> Practising yoga may offer some relief from asthma: Reseachers from a Hong Kong university, who were conducting the study said, "yoga exercise may lead to small improvements in asthma quality of life and symptoms." Six studies conducted by the team looked into the effects of breathing alone during yoga exercise, while the other studies assessed the effects of yoga that included breathing, posture and meditation. They found some moderate quality evidence from five studies that yoga exercise reduces the impact of asthma on people's quality of life.

7 useful health benefits of Yoga

>> People with abnormal heart rhythm can lead a better life with yoga: Yoga may improve quality of life in patients suffering from abnormal heart rhythm also known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) because it gives them a method to gain some self control over their symptoms instead of feeling helpless. Researchers from a Swedish university made 80 patients with paroxysmal AF who randomised to yoga or a control group that did not do yoga. Yoga was performed for one hour, once a week, for 12 weeks in the hospital with an experienced instructor, which included light movements, deep breathing and meditation. After 12 weeks, the yoga group had higher "SF-36" mental health scores, lower heart rate and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure than the control group.

>> Embrace yoga for a super sex life: For sound love-making, the whole idea is to make the mind tranquil so that the process of cerebral tissue oxygenation can take place in deepest of human tissues, micro-nutrients reach the tiniest parts of our brain and the genitalia get good blood supply, explain yoga and health experts. Yoga exercises, under the supervision of a trained professional, gets you right on the top in an efficient manner. Shavasana (corpse) and Vajrasana (kneeling) postures are said to be extemely beneficial. While Shavasana leaves you in a state of rejuvenation, reducing blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia, Vajrasana makes the body exceptionally strong and healthy. As a holistic practice, yoga can increase physical stamina and, in turn, prolong the pleasure associated with sex.

>> Yoga beneficial for pregnant women suffering from depression: A recent study conducted by researchers from an American university found that yoga can help pregnant women with significant depression reduce the severity of the mood disorder. For the study, the team recruited 34 pregnant women with elevated depression symptoms. Women attended a programme of pre-natal yoga classes tailored for pregnant women by registered yoga instructors. In addition to practicing yoga and mindfulness during the classes, women were also encouraged to do so at home. At regular timepoints during the 10-week study, the researchers measured depressive symptoms in the women. The data also showed that the more pre-natal yoga pregnant women did, the more they benefited psychologically. The researchers also measured significant changes in some attributes of mindfulness, which many researchers believe is one mechanism by which yoga may reduce depression.

>> Yoga a boon for breast cancer survivors: Practising meditation has a positive physical impact at the cellular level in breast cancer survivors, new research shows. The team found that telomeres - protein complexes at the end of chromosomes - maintain their length in breast cancer survivors, who practise meditation or are involved in support groups. Although the disease-regulating properties of telomeres are not fully understood, shortened telomeres are associated with several disease states as well as cell ageing while longer telomeres are thought to be protective against disease.

Suffering from bipolar disorder? Practice yoga! Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder refers to a brain condition that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. For the study, researchers from an US university recruited 109 individuals who identified themselves as having bipolar disorder and as being yoga practitioners. Of 86 individuals with useable responses, 70 had positive results on a screening questionnaire for manic symptoms. However, yoga is not without risks - including potential worsening of symptoms related to bipolar disorder, the researchers noted. About one-fourth of respondents reported some type of negative effects related to yoga.

Yoga a potential therapy for cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials has concluded that the popular mind-body practice of yoga can be a potential therapy for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Out of 1,404 records, 37 randomised controlled trials were included in the systematic review and 32 in the meta-analysis. The findings were later published in a prominent European Medical Journal. Compared to non-exercise participants, yoga showed significant improvement for body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Significant changes were seen in body weight, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides and heart rate but not fasting blood glucose. The team concluded that there is promising evidence of yoga on improving cardio-metabolic health.

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