Has Yoga Been Scientifically Proven?

Most people have heard of yoga, with it being an incredibly popular activity which has a focus on breathing, flexibility, and strength, as well as a variety of mental and spiritual cleansing elements as well. However, if you have not tried yoga, you might not know about all of the potential benefits it has. 

Has Yoga Been Scientifically Proven?

When it comes to activities like yoga, you will often hear enthusiasts talk about all of the benefits they have come by when it comes to practicing the activity. However, you will likely hear a massive range of different reasons to try, and if you are skeptical about some of them, you might not be as inclined to believe what these people are saying.

This is understandable since in modern life you can see a lot of people twisting the truth to try and persuade you to do different things. 

Because of this, we have put this guide together to go through the positives of doing yoga which have been actually proven scientifically. Of course scientific research can occasionally be disproven, but for the most part, science surrounding activities like yoga is usually well researched and you can trust what is being said. 

There are plenty of health and wellness reasons you might hear people recommending yoga for, and if these are effects which you want, then you want to make sure that they are backed by something. 

This list will not cover every potential benefit you can get from yoga, but we will be covering the most beneficial and important ones here. So, if you want to see what aspects of yoga have been scientifically proven, then keep reading!

Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Yoga

This guide will go through all of the main benefits of yoga which have scientific backing, so if you are ever asked what the benefits of yoga are, or if you are wondering if the activity is worth doing, then these are the best reasons to consider.

Of course not all of these are guaranteed for all people, but there is scientific evidence that these benefits have all been linked to yoga in one way or another!

Reducing Stress

One of the most impactful benefits of yoga you will hear people mention is that it is a great method to reduce stress, and this aspect of yoga has actually been scientifically proven. Yoga is shown to reduce stress, as well as help in becoming more relaxed as well. 

The specific way in which yoga helps with reducing stress is getting more and more attention from scientists as they prove exactly how this works.

Essentially there can be surges of hormones that cause stress, with common perpetrators being cortisol and adrenaline, and these can damage your blood vessels as well as raise your blood pressure. 

But, there is research which now shows that those who practice yoga more often are likely to have a lower cortisol level. If you only practice yoga for about 3 months, there are signs that this noticeably lowers levels of cortisol as well as inflammation too!

Relieving Anxiety

Similarly to the previous point, a common issue faced in modern society is anxiety, but this is also something which can be helped by doing yoga as well. There is a chance that you have panic disorder, social anxiety, a form of PTSD, or any other condition where anxiety is a persistent symptom. 

The study was done specifically on a style of yoga called Hatha yoga, and this shows that the activity was shown to help with people who suffer from anxiety. Hatha yoga was actually the most beneficial for people who displayed the highest levels of anxiety.

Yoga has also been proven to aid with anxiety levels even more than activities which have also proven to help like walking. 

Managing Depression

Depression is another condition which has proven to affect millions of adults in the US alone, but also around the world. 

Of course there are a variety of different methods you can use to treat depression, but one which has shown promising results according to people who have studied it is depression.

There was a 2017 review which showed that yoga could reduce the symptoms, especially for people who have depressive disorder, women suffering from PPD, and caregivers as well. 

Helping With Lower Back Pain

Something which also affects a lot of people, especially when they get older. It is shown that 80% of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their life, so this is something most people should be considering.

This can affect your ability to perform simple tasks which you need to do every day, so it is useful to hear that yoga has been proven to be a simple and not too expensive way to help provide relief from this back pain. 

A lot of people who have experienced chronic pain because of lower back pain have reported better lifestyle with the pain once a yoga course had been completed. Yoga is also often used in physical therapy, and this is why its rehabilitative qualities are often emphasized.

Improving Quality Of Life

Has Yoga Been Scientifically Proven?

You will find occasionally that when people are suffering from an illness, they will occasionally be treated with yoga, alongside more traditional medical methods. This is shown to mainly be a factor to aid with increasing the quality of life.

There are some specific conditions which yoga has shown to be particularly helpful with treating. 

For example, there has been research done on those who are suffering from prostate cancer that shows that doing yoga twice a week can improve the fatigue and bodily function after going through cancer radiation. Also, if you have suffered from a stroke, yoga has been shown to aid with improving balance.

Preventing Heart Disease

As we know, heart disease causes a massive number of deaths every year, and it is still the leading cause of death in most of the world. There has been a study which shows that yoga can reduce some of the most common risk factors for heart disease. 

Something which yoga can help improve is BMI, as well as cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. You can also see that yoga can decrease the changes in the blood vessels which will contribute towards eventual heart disease.

Stimulating Brain Function

Because of the nature of yoga, it has shown to boost brain function, as well as improve energy levels too. There was a study in 2017 which showed that Hatha yoga was able to improve the executive functions of the brain, as well as improving people’s mood.

There was another study from 2012 which showed that yoga can improve both speed and accuracy when it comes to working memory as well!

Summary

Hopefully this guide has put into perspective just how many benefits of yoga are scientifically proven, and just how impactful this can be.

There are plenty of reasons why doing yoga is beneficial, however, for a lot of these reasons, they can also be helped by making other lifestyle changes as well, and you should not rely on yoga to change everything. 

However, if you struggle with anything we have listed here, then you can trust that yoga has a chance to help what you are going through!

Laura Simmons
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