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Facts About Yoga and Health: Can it Really Detox Your Liver and other hidden benefits of yoga?

5 Facts & Benefits of Yoga

All of the following health benefits have actually been confirmed by a host of scientific studies. One of the biggest mistakes yoga advocates make is to focus on the myths and the obvious lies, even though there are a host of genuine benefits, such as:

Yoga Can Kill Pain

At first glance this is one of those benefits that sounds like it should be listed under “Myths”, but believe it or not, there is a lot of scientific research out there to back it up.

We’re as surprised as you are, but the truth is, yoga can be an effective solution for chronic pain caused by inflammatory conditions of the muscles and joints.

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One 2005 study found that yoga could reduce pain and discomfort felt by patients with osteoarthritis while a 1998 study found it to be more effective than wrist-splints at treating carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s not just about building muscle mass and tendon strength either; it seems to behave a direct and immediate effect on the levels of pain and discomfort, and that’s nothing short of astounding.

Yoga Can Reduce Stress

As any yogi will tell you, the main benefit of yoga is the instantaneous impact on stress levels, but these effects are more than just anecdotal.

A 2016 study found a direct link between yoga and reduced cortisol levels (3), also known as the body’s main stress hormone.

Cortisol is part of your “fight or flight” response and excessive amounts of this hormone can lead to high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even low energy.

Stress has a hugely negative impact on your physiology, which makes yoga a viable cure for a host of physical and psychological issues.

Yoga Can Fight Anxiety and Depression

A meta-analysis on the effects of yoga on anxiety found it to be as effective as relaxation, and even more effective on overall mental health.

Not only is yoga incredibly effective at reducing anxiety and stress when compared to regular exercise and no exercise, but it’s also more effective than basic relaxation techniques.

There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Any form of exercise improves circulation, which in turn increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. Yoga is low-impact, which means practitioners are able to get these benefits without the increased heart rate, stiffness, and fatigue that follows traditional workouts.

  • Exercise releases endorphins, which act as the body’s natural antidepressant.

  • Yoga incorporates relaxation techniques like deep breathing and is basically meditation in transit.

Not only are these effects instant, but they are profound, and the more you practice, the more benefits you will get and the longer they will last.

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Yoga Can Improve Heart Health

We have already touched upon the ways that yoga can benefit cardiovascular health, so it will come as no surprise to learn that regular practice can protect individuals from heart disease.

One study compared 50 subjects who did no exercise or yoga to 50 subjects who did, noting that the yoga practitioners displayed significantly reduced pulse rates and blood pressure.

Another study went as far as to suggest that regular yoga could reverse the effects of ischaemic heart disease, especially when performed in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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Yoga Improves Flexibility

The more you stretch, the more flexible you will become. This is a benefit you probably saw coming, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.

Stretching stimulates blood flow to the muscles, it makes you more supple and agile and is particularly effective for anyone who spends their days behind a desk.

Your muscles need to work, they need to be stimulated, and this could be the perfect way to do that.

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