For the Love of Yoga
As a long time practitioner of yoga, I’ve personally benefited from the practice in many tangible ways. It helps promote relaxation, reduce mental chatter, soothe stress, and keeps my joints and muscles flexible. Needless to say, yoga is a wonderful practice for both mental and physical wellbeing. Today, we’ll have a look at the top five benefits of yoga that are backed by science.
Famous for its ability to calm stress and encourage relaxation, numerous studies have shown that yoga decreases the stress hormone cortisol.1,2
One study involving 24 women over a three-month time period found that practicing yoga significantly lowered cortisol levels, stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Similarly, another study of 131 people demonstrated that yoga improved symptoms of stress and anxiety when practiced over the course of 10 weeks.
As a powerful practice to help cope with feelings of anxiety, research has shown that those who regularly engage in yoga have significantly lower levels of fear and anxiousness.
Researchers examined the effect of yoga on a group of women with anxiety disorders. The participants practiced yoga twice a week for two months. At the end of the study, the team found that those in the yoga group had remarkably reduced levels of anxiety compared to the control group.
A study involving 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had similar results. The team discovered that after 10 weeks of practicing yoga once per week, the women had a significant reduction in PTSD symptoms with 52% no longer matching the parameters for the disorder at all.
Since most autoimmune disorders involve inflammation, managing it should be a top priority. I know it is for me and my multiple sclerosis. Chronic inflammation is also involved in heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, so it’s well-worth the effort to address it in order to safeguard health. As it turns out, yoga is an excellent practice for naturally calming inflammation.
Several studies have shown that individuals who practice yoga experience lower levels of inflammation compared to those who didn’t adopt the practice.3,4
Soothes Chronic Pain
For those who suffer from back pain, neck pain, or migraine headaches, yoga is an outstanding practice for reducing pain in these areas. It’s also exceptional for individuals with arthritis or other joint issues. One study discovered that participants with chronic lower back pain experienced less depression, pain, and disability after six months of consistent yoga practice.
Improves Quality of Sleep
If you struggle with getting enough deep, restorative sleep, yoga can help. Studies have found that practicing yoga for at least 4-8 weeks can have a positive impact on sleep quality and insomnia. Since chronic stress, hormone dysfunction, or pain are often the cause of poor sleep, the practice of yoga can help your body recalibrate to promote more restful slumber.
Yoga and Medicinal Herbs
Herbal remedies are the perfect complement to your yoga practice if you find you need a little extra support in settling down your thoughts and calming the stress response. My Anxiety & Stress Tincture can help. It contains a powerful blend of soothing herbs and adaptogens, including: ashwagandha, lemon balm, lion’s mane and reishi mushrooms.
Need some extra joint and muscle support? Have a look at my Joint & Movement Bundle, which is considered by many a miracle worker for pain-relief and inflammation from sore and inflamed muscles, joints, and tendons.
Whether you are new to yoga or have years of experience under your belt, these medicinal herbal formulations can help support your practice and overall physical and mental wellbeing.