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Can yoga help prevent illness?

In addition to stress reduction, yoga has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and to prevent osteoporosis, among other benefits that will serve you for years to come and help you to feel young. As you continue to practice yoga not only do you see your body change physically, but you may also find yourself becoming more calm, present and conscious of your choices. Many students at YogaWorks find with a regular practice that they begin to eat better, sleep better, and increase their strength, energy level and focus. These are some of the many positive benefits of a regular yoga practice that can prevent illness.

Yes. Yoga has been shown to deliver several health benefits to people who perform it regularly. The benefits depend on the type and form of yoga as some forms focus more on stretching and breathing and some on strength. In general yoga has been shown to improve flexibility, increase range of motion, lower blood pressure, improve core strength, improve muscular strength, and improve mood. This translates to a healthier immune system that is better able to prevent illness. If you’re interested in yoga find a qualified and certified yoga instructor and take some introductory classes to see if it fits you.

Robyn  Hussa
Administration Specialist

According to Psychiatry Magazine's 2010 publication, yoga has been used to enhance self-esteem, increase energy, protect structural stability or maintain self-esteem in the face of challenges. Those of us who use yoga in therapeutic settings to support the addiction and eating disorder recovery process, can attest to the incredible effects that yoga has to reduce anxiety, increase mindfulness and—most notably—to increase body image. Learn more at http://www.normal-life.org/free-mindfulness-meditation-workshops-in-nyc/.

Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine Specialist

To understand the relationship between practicing yoga postures and preventing illness, we need to look at how illness is caused. When the body experiences some form of imbalance by having too much heat (hyperacidity, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.), too much dryness (constipation, osteoarthritis, etc.) or too much heaviness and moisture (allergies, asthma, diabetes, etc.), illness ensues. By cooling off the heat, moisturizing the dryness, or moving the heaviness, we assume greater balance in the body and achieve greater health.

How do we do this? By observing the state of our own individual physical imbalances, we can use yoga postures as well as other devices to reverse them. If we have a lot of heat in the body, we can practice cooling postures; if we have a lot of air and dryness in the body, we can practice postures that settle that air down and reverse the dryness; if we have a lot of moisture in the body, we can practice postures that help us to move more. With greater overall balance, we will become ill far less often and with less intensity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.