Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji,” meaning yoke or union, yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body.
It incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress.
Practicing yoga is said to come with many benefits for both mental and physical health, though not all of these benefits have been backed by science.
This article takes a look at 13 evidence-based benefits of yoga.
Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation.
In fact, multiple studies have shown that it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.
One study demonstrated the powerful effect of yoga on stress by following 24 women who perceived themselves as emotionally distressed.
After a three-month yoga program, the women had significantly lower levels of cortisol. They also had lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression.
Another study of 131 people had similar results, showing that 10 weeks of yoga helped reduce stress and anxiety. It also helped improve quality of life and mental health.
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