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Study reveals yoga as beneficial as high impact exercise

Study reveals yoga as beneficial as high impact exercise
December 31, 2014

Evidence of the benefits of yoga to the wellness of participants has been revealed by a new study which shows it can also help those with heart disease.

The report, published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, details how yoga is just as effective as more strenuous activities such as aerobic training and cycling at cutting risks of heart disease.

It highlights that due to yoga's low impact profile is seen as being more accessible to those with heart conditions.

The European Society of Cardiology report reviewed 37 trials involving 2,768 people and measured the benefits of yoga compared with exercise and no physical activity.

It found that when compared to no exercise, yoga reduced Body Mass Index (BMI), lowered blood pressure and reduced cholesterol and that on average, those tested were 2.75 kilograms lighter than those who did no exercise.

The Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel explains “the regular practice of yoga may produce many health benefits, including increased fitness and normalisation of blood pressure.

“Yoga is a renowned antidote to stress. Over time, yoga practitioners report lower levels of stress, and increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing. This is because concentrating on the postures and the breath acts as a form of meditation.”

Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy that dates back more than 5,000 years. It was designed as a path to spiritual enlightenment, but in modern times, the physical aspects of Hatha yoga have found huge popularity as a gentle form of exercise and stress management. There are many different varieties of yoga, but each one essentially relies on structured poses (asanas) practiced with breath awareness.

The classical practice of yoga encourages effort, intelligence, accuracy, thoroughness, commitment and dedication. The word yoga means ‘to join or yoke together’. It brings your body and mind together, and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing and meditation.

Yoga exercises are designed to put pressure on the glandular systems of the body, increasing its body’s efficiency and total health. 

Click here for more information on Yoga has the same potential as exercise to reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular disease in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology.

Click here to visit the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel.

Image courtesy of the Centennial Health Club/Centennial Parklands.

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