It’s no secret that yoga can cure a wide range of health issues. In fact, research has shown that those who practice yoga regularly can enjoy a healthier and longer life than those who do not. While some people choose to use yoga for all-around good health, many individuals turn to the holistic practice to find relief from chronic conditions such as diabetes, back pain, and even asthma.
In this article, we explore the benefits of yoga when it comes to ongoing health issues.
Before beginning, it’s a good idea to pick up some good-quality yoga gear. Asthma suffers may benefit from loose-fitting clothing.
Asthma is just one of the health issues that yoga can relieve. While an inhaler can treat attacks when they come along, regular yoga practice has shown to keep the condition at bay long-term.
For natural asthma relief, many GPs recommend a form of light exercise. However, those suffering from the condition can find many types of physical activity challenging or even impossible – especially if their asthma is exercise-induced. Unlike most physical activities, yoga involves minimal movement; instead, it focusses on slow-paced stretches and breathing exercises. This makes the practice incredibly popular amongst asthma sufferers. Better still, research has shown that practising regularly can drastically improve lung function and reduce asthma symptoms.
Diabetes is one of the major incurable health conditions in the UK. Though it can often be controlled with medication, there is currently no cure for the disease. Unfortunately, yoga cannot magically cure insulin resistance. However, regular practice can help to control your blood sugar levels. Because of this, people worldwide are turning to yoga to keep their condition under control.
It’s common knowledge that yoga can reduce stress levels, increase flexibility, and lower blood pressure. Experts believe that these benefits are key in diabetes management, making the holistic practice great for diabetes sufferers of all ages. Additionally, regular practice is thought to prevent other related health issues such as heart disease.
There is no question that digestive issues are exacerbated by stress. Whether you’re suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers, or you’re just feeling a little bunged up, practising yoga regularly can help to relieve unpleasant symptoms. Like any exercise, getting your body moving through yoga can ease constipation, too. Certain postures can help food and waste products to transport quicker through your system, providing gentle relief from the discomfort associated with constipation and bloating.
Practicing yoga for just 20 minutes each morning can improve gastrointestinal circulation for the rest of the day. Not only will this decrease gas, but it will also help the body to absorb food better, allowing individuals to get a higher nutritional value from their meals. Most yoga postures incorporate rhythmic breathing; this relaxes both the body and mind, allowing you to go about the rest of your day free of stress. Simply, less stress means a happier digestive system.
Studies have shown that the benefits of yoga on the digestive system are similar to that of a body massage. Stretching and moving the intestines will encourage food and waste to move quicker, providing long-term relief for bloating and associated symptoms.
In the UK, it is believed that over six-million people suffer from regular migraines. While a variety of factors can onset a migraine, they are commonly caused because there is not enough blood being supplied to the brain. For migraines of this cause, certain asanas can provide relief from the unpleasant symptoms. Better still, regular yoga practice can keep the condition at bay long-term.
A recent study found that those who practice yoga alongside their regular treatment plan experienced reduced headache frequency. Disturbances in the autonomic nervous system are thought to be linked to migraines. Throughout the study, yoga practitioners were also found to have fewer disturbances in this area.
Another common cause of a migraine is stress and muscle tension. Asanas that target the back and neck help to loosen the muscles, resulting in less tension that could lead to a nasty attack being accumulated. Migraine sufferers should practice a mixture of tension-relieving asanas and poses that help improve blood flow to the brain.
Back pain is a chronic health condition worldwide, especially amongst working professionals. Being stuck at a desk all day often results in bad posture, leading to chronic back pain over time. Whilst the effects can sometimes be controlled with painkillers, some individuals end up needing surgery to relieve their condition. Thankfully, research has shown that yoga can relieve back pain, and even prevent the onset of the condition.
Through a series of asanas, yoga works to strengthen the muscles in your back and abdominals. Your back and abdominal muscles play a key role in the function of your spine, helping you to maintain correct posture throughout the day. Holding certain poses can increase strength in these specific muscles and muscle groups, therefore reducing or even diminishing back pain over time.
Whether you’re suffering from a chronic health issue or you’re hoping to avoid the onset of nasty conditions in the future, practice yoga regularly to reap the benefits. However, it’s important to practice the asanas correctly to avoid making your condition worse. While it requires concentration, it should never be uncomfortable. Novices may benefit from attending a local yoga class when starting out; here, an experienced instructor can ensure you are practising each pose correctly. Before attending a local class, pick up a yoga bag to carry your equipment in.