Yoga Benefits Confirmed by Science
In a small preliminary
study, the ancient art of yoga appeared to halve the
number of episodes of a potentially dangerous
irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.
Three sessions of yoga a week also
improved quality of life, lowering levels of the
anxiety and depression which often plagues patients
with this condition, according to research to be
presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the
American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.
The more scientific studies
are done on the benefits of yoga practice, the more
evidence is found of the health benefits that this
ancient art of healing provides.
a "study done by Ohio State University
researchers and just reported in the journal Psychosomatic
Medicine, showed that women who routinely
practiced yoga had lower amounts of the cytokine
interleukin-6 (IL-6) in their blood" (source).
IL-6 is an inflammatory protein normally linked to aging and stress.
In another study, two groups
of heart disease patients were tracked over five
years. The first group took medication only. The
second group took medication and also adopted a lifestyle
based on yoga principles incorporating exercise,
meditation, diet, relaxation and group support. This
study, published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association in 1997, showed that the
medication-only group had experienced
two and a half times as many heart attacks and deaths
as the yoga lifestyle group.
Australian researcher Pauline
Jensen recently completed a small randomized
control trial through the University of Sydney. The
study assessed the effects of yoga on boys aged 8-13
diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD). Once a week, the boys did a gentle form of
yoga, in addition to techniques which involved
postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation. After
20 weeks, she found that the boys doing yoga were
less moody, angry, restless and impulsive than those
in the control group.
These are just some of the
studies that show the benefits of yoga practice. As
more studies are done and as the gap between science
and Spirit narrows there is no doubt there will be
more evidence of the benefits, the best ways to
Of course the Teachings of
and on the Mission website teach
us that everything in this universe can be of three
kinds: From knowledge (satva), from passion (raja),
and from ignorance (tama). Also, everything can
depend on the time, place, and people involved. So even yoga practice should be done from knowledge
and according to the place, time and people