The Health Benefits of a Yoga Program

Namaste: The Health Benefits of a Yoga Program

Surveys show that back pain is one of the most common types of pain in America. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, about eighty percent of Americans will experience back pain in their lifetime. Ten percent suffer from chronic, low back pain, and twenty-nine percent of back pain sufferers believed it was stress-induced. According to an article published by BMJ journals, the usage of over-the-counter NSAIDs has increased since 1988. Though NSAIDs are used to treat other medical diagnosis, the statistics correlate with the increasing instances of back pain in the United States.

In a National Health Interview Survey published in 2019, 50.2 million adults in the United States reported suffering from daily chronic pain. Thirty-two percent of America suffers from hypertension, or high blood pressure. A survey conducted on heart disease in the U.S. revealed an astounding 18.2 million adults over aged twenty have been diagnosed with heart disease. With the appropriate, prescribed medications and a balanced diet, alternative therapies such as yoga have proven effective in health management.

A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Yoga evaluated the health effects of yoga on male athletes over a ten-week period. Researchers observed improved flexibility and strength in the test subjects because of a regular yoga program. A similar study conducted in China in 2015 determined that Hatha yoga improved cardiorespiratory function and endurance in woman over the age of 50. Besides easing pain and improving flexibility and endurance, yoga and meditative mental health practitioners often implement techniques to manage the symptoms of anxiety and PTSD. According to the WHO, over 300 million people suffer from anxiety disorders worldwide.

In 2005, twenty-four women in Germany suffering from depression and anxiety took a ninety-minute yoga class weekly for three months and reported a fifty percent reduction in their depression symptoms and thirty percent experienced decreased anxiety levels. Studies assessing the use of a regular yoga regimen in cancer patients suggested positive results, including decreased stress, depression, and pain levels.

While there are no statistics proving yoga’s efficacy in terms of weight loss, studies conducted in 2016 and 2017 showed positive correlations between mindfulness and decreased instances of binge eating. Research suggests that the mind-body experience of yoga improves overall mindfulness and healthier choices overall.

Whether you are considering a yoga regimen for its cognitive benefits, its effectiveness in pain management and reduction, or its overall efficacy in muscle strength and endurance, the art of yoga is a proven, holistic approach to aid in health management and a helpful tool in improving your quality of life.

About the Author:

 Ashley Brandt is a paramedic and an author living in north Texas. An avid reader, Ashley spends as much time at the bookstore as she can. Ashley has five published titles and is currently under contract for a sixth.