International Yoga Day: Why You Should Participate

June 21st marks the second celebration of the International Day of Yoga. Here are 10 great reasons why you should give yoga a try today!

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Over the past several years, Emaxhealth reporters have offered many (many!) reasons to incorporate yoga into your daily routine. From weight loss to stress reduction, I am certain you will find a reason to participate in this International Celebration.

Lose Weight!
Practicing yoga increases body awareness and leads to mindful eating, and this heightened sensitivity can promote weight loss in people who are overweight and prevent weight gain in individuals of normal weight. These findings were reported in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Boosts Brain Function!
If you’re looking for an instant brain boost, yoga seems to be the way to go. New research shows a 20 minute bout of yoga improved female students’ ability to process, retain and use new information better than the same amount of aerobic exercise. The finding adds to a growing list of yoga health benefits.

Good for your Heart!
Aerial yoga is an alternative form of this ancient practice that literally lifts you off the ground onto an entirely different plane. For those who are curious about aerial yoga or who have tried it, you may be pleased to hear that it can have a positive effect on your heart health.

Good for your Bones and Joints!
Symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can put a real damper on quality of life for the more than 50 million people in the United States who live with these diseases. Yoga could be an answer to symptom relief for both body and mind, according to a study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSM).

Relieve Menopause Symptoms!
If you are a woman whose menopause symptoms are difficult to manage, yoga may help you with some of those issues. A new study appearing in Menopause as well as previous research indicates that women who practice yoga can get some relief.

Improve Lung Function!
If you're suffering from COPD or chronic obstructive lung disease you have probably been taught how to deep breathe by your nurse, pulmonary therapist or physician. A small study showed Yoga that incorporates deep breathing, physical postures and relaxation and can be performed by individuals of all levels of fitness can help improve lung function and quell inflammation associated with COPD.

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Fight Autoimmune Disease!
Yoga can be a powerful tool in your fight against autoimmune diseases. Patients have found relief and reduced their pain symptoms by practicing this type of exercise. Doctors recommend that you explore complimentary therapies such as yoga because many autoimmune diseases cannot be cured.

Relieves Chronic Pain!
The Cobra and other yoga positions may help reduce chronic pain and other symptoms that affect people who have fibromyalgia, according to a York University study. A contributing factor for this benefit appears to be yoga’s ability to raise levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Reduces Inflammation!
Yoga has now been shown to reduce inflammation by reducing cytokine levels in the body that lead to inflammation and implicated for producing a variety of diseases. Researchers from Ohio State University studied yoga practitioners, finding lower levels of cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the bloodstream of women studied.

Helps you to cope with cancer treatment!
The rigors of treatment can be very taxing on breast cancer survivors. The fatigue and reduction in fitness ability causes one to do much less activity, which then results in a downward spiral of worsening debilitation. Researchers with The Ohio State University have found that even a short term yoga practice may help reduce fatigue and lower chronic inflammation that can lead to other illnesses.

Men, there are benefits here for you too.

For men who are undergoing radiation as part of prostate cancer treatment, incorporating yoga exercises into their program should be a consideration. New research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine shows that the combination of physical poses, meditation, and breathing techniques provides some benefits for men who are coping with this difficult time in their lives.

See Also: International Day of Yoga

Photo Credit:
By Peacelovetomare - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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