Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Medical and Wellness Research
For centuries, people practiced yoga and meditation because of the benefits they gained, and learning of them was passed down from teacher to student.
The scientific research community is now documenting these benefits, and below are links to some of its findings.
- “The practice of yoga has many health benefits associated with it, so read below to discover 77 benefits of incorporating yoga …”
77 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga
- “John Denninger, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, is leading a five-year study on how the ancient practices affect genes and brain activity in the chronically stressed. His latest work follows a study he and others published earlier this year showing how so-called mind-body techniques can switch on and off some genes linked to stress and immune function.”
Harvard Yoga Scientists Find Proof of Meditation- Benefit
“The practice of yoga is known to improve many risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, and stress and inflammation in the body… Data [from this study] showed the yoga intervention significantly reduced the number of episodes of irregular heart beat among atrial fibrillation patients during the study phase compared to the control phase where subjects were participating in the physical activity of their choice. Yoga also reduced depression and anxiety scores and improved quality of life scores in the areas of physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, and mental health.”
- “Yoga increases flexibility and reduces stress, but the practice can do more than help you twist your body into pretzel shapes and find inner peace. These hidden benefits will help you in the kitchen, office and bedroom — and will give you five new reasons to show off your yoga skills…”
Five Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga
- “Data from a review of U.S.-based clinical trials published today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggest that some of the most popular complementary health approaches—such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture—appear to be effective tools for helping to manage common pain conditions.” NIH Review Findings
- The findings showed improved bone density in the spine and femur of the 227 participants who were moderately or fully compliant with the assigned yoga exercises. In addition, “yoga looks like it’s safe, even for people who have suffered significant bone loss,” Dr. Fishman said. Yoga for Bone Health
- One out of three Americans suffers from chronic pain. The medicine that many take has led to an epidemic of addiction, overdoses and deaths. A growing number of people want alternatives. They’re finding them and getting their lives back. “There’s no evidence that they provide any long-term relief in patients suffering from chronic non-malignant pain,” said Dr. Michael Gaume, a pain specialist at Saint Luke’s Hospital. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health reviewed more than 100 studies of complementary approaches. They found yoga and acupuncture appear to be effective and safe for back pain.
- “… Mr. Bertolini’s experiment was underway, with 239 employees volunteering. One-third practiced Viniyoga, one-third took a mindfulness class, and the rest were assessed as a control group. At the end of three months, the data came in, and executives were astounded. All employees who stuck with either the yoga or the mindfulness reported significant reduction in perceived stress and sleep difficulties. And while self-reports of lowered stress are not always reliable, the study also found that physical measures of heart rate variability and cortisol levels had both decreased. “The biostatisticians were beside themselves,” Mr. Bertolini said.”
At Aetna, a C.E.O.’s Management by Mantra
- “I wanted to see if there were linear relationships, where more yoga leads to more benefits,” she says. “Because the yoga masters make these claims, but nobody has ever tested them. Sure enough, the study found that levels of psychological and physical well-being among the study participants were proportional to how long and how often the women practised yoga – a greater dose produced a greater effect.”
The Longer You Practice Yoga, the Happier and Healthier You’ll Be
- “Anxiety was significantly reduced in every session that subjects meditated … This showed that just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation can help reduce normal everyday anxiety.”
How does meditation reduce anxiety at a neural level?
- “Yoga’s many possible health benefits — from improved cognitive function to a lower risk of diabetes — are well-documented. Recent studies have even suggested that yoga and meditation could influence gene expression, maybe even limiting the expression of genes associated with inflammation. This year, research also showed that lifestyle changes including improved diet, moderate exercise and less stress might actually reverse the aging process at a cellular level.”
How Yoga and Meditation Can SuperCharge your Health
- “Arguably, each practitioner has a goal (or goals) individual to him or her. However, yoga has been practiced in various forms for hundreds of years all over the world. There must be a grand design, an ultimate goal. There is. It is called: moksha.”
The Ultimate Goal of Yoga