Yoga has long been noted for improving health and fitness, below are a recent sampling of articles supporting this long standing theory.
Siginificant Benefits of Yoga in People With Rheumatoid Arthritis, Study ShowsBy: ScienceDaily
The results of the study conducted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) among 47 patients (26 yoga patients and 21 controls) demonstrate that patients who completed 12 sessions of Raj yoga which is one of the gentler styles of yoga, combining exercise and breathing techniques showed significant improvements in disease activity scores (DAS28) of p=0.021 and health assessment questionnaire's (HAQ†) of p=0.0015. However there was no statistically significant improvement on the quality of life scale (QoL).
"Most patients with RA do not exercise regularly despite the fact that those who do report less pain and are therefore more physically active," said Dr Humeira Badsha MD Rheumatologist and founder of the Emirates Arthritis Foundation, Dubai, UAE. "While our study has been conducted in a small group of patients the results show clear benefits for patients who regularly practice Raj yoga. We believe that practicing yoga longer term could in fact result in further significant improvements and hope our study drives further research into the benefits of yoga in RA."
Yoga's Ability to Improve Mood and Lessen Anxiety Is Linked to Increased Levels of a Critical Brain Chemical, Research FindsBy: ScienceDaily
Yoga has been shown to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate nerve activity. GABA activity is reduced in people with mood and anxiety disorders, and drugs that increase GABA activity are commonly prescribed to improve mood and decrease anxiety.
Tying all of these observations together, the study by Chris Streeter, MD, from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts) and colleagues demonstrates that increased GABA levels measured after a session of yoga postures are associated with improved mood and decreased anxiety. Their findings establish a new link between yoga, higher levels of GABA in the thalamus, and improvements in mood and anxiety based on psychological assessments. The authors suggest that the practice of yoga stimulates specific brain areas, thereby giving rise to changes in endogenous antidepressant neurotransmitters such as GABA.
Yoga: Tap into the many health benefitsBy: The Mayo Clinic
Chronic stress can lead to a variety of health and emotional problems. Yoga can be an effective method to reduce stress and anxiety. See how to get started.
Your kids are demanding the latest video game, your boss wants that report done yesterday, and your partner wants to know what's for dinner. Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they're getting the best of you, you might want to make like a cobra or a mountain and try yoga.
Yoga's series of postures — some with names from nature — and controlled breathing exercises are a popular means of stress management and relaxation. Today, yoga classes teaching the art of breathing, meditation and posing are offered nearly everywhere — from trendy health clubs in big cities to community education classes in small towns to hospitals and clinics. If you're looking for more do-it-yourself techniques for stress reduction, see how to get started with yoga.
Daniel B. Mark, MD3/3/11
Mountain Pose Medicine and Yoga Symposium presenter Daniel B. Mark, MD's new paper published 3/3/11. Read more on the relationship between patient expectations and recovery.
CNN: Bill Clinton Interview9/22/10
Mail Tribune: Study: Yoga can combat anxiety, lift your mood1/9/11
Yoga has many proven health benefits, but does it stand up to other forms of exercise? Researchers pitted it against a walking routine and found that those who practiced yoga showed greater improvements in mood and anxiety.
Researchers randomly assigned 19 people to an Iyengar yoga program and 15 to a metabolically matched regular walking regimen. read more...
The Sacramento Bee: Avalanche survivor finds healing through 'hot' yoga1/9/11
On Dec. 31, 2010, lying on a sopping yoga mat in a room set at a stifling 105 degrees, a sweaty Gabriel Amador shifted his hips and, with remarkable elasticity, put his right leg under his body, chest-high, while keeping his left leg straight and his arms over his head, palms up.
Try as he might to control his breathing, to keep it steady and deep, Amador couldn't help but groan from the strain of the "Half Pigeon" pose. Others in the morning class at Hot Yoga at Sunrise in Fair Oaks responded similarly. read more...
OregonLive.com: Yoga by prescription12/21/10
After months of agonizing back pain, Suellen Rinker was at a loss.A surgeon suggested a range of options: painkillers, medication injected into the spine, back surgery. An MRI scan revealed a herniated spinal disk, and the pain, like a stabbing ice pick, filled her days with misery and robbed her nights of sleep. read more...
Medical Daily: Five Health Benefits of Yoga11/22/10
Yoga has been touted as one of the most effective forms of exercise since it not only caters to the body but it also caters to one's mind and spirit. In other words, it is not just a form of exercise but has to be inculcated as a spiritual activity in one's daily routine. read more...
Times News: Doctors recommend ancient practice of yoga for ailments3/27/09
Jennifer Bockhorst leaves work a bit early most Wednesdays to drive from Abingdon, Va., to attend a yoga class in Kingsport. After suffering from migraine and tension headaches for years, Bockhorst decided to try yoga for the treatment and prevention of these headaches. read more...
The Cancer Beat: Cancer Doctors Recognize the Potential Benefits Of Yoga Therapy9/20/10
Physicians are beginning to understand the relationship between stress and cancer. As a result, a growing number are advising patients to practice their downward and upward dogs as they undergo conventional cancer treatments like surgery and chemotherapy.
By complementing the state-of-the-art biomedical therapies of Western medicine with practices like yoga and counseling, oncologists hope to improve quality of life and symptoms while aggressively attacking cancer cells. There are many factors to consider when deciding which type of yoga therapy is best. Here are some guidelines that cancer patients can discuss with their physicians. read more...