Yoga offers physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. And, if you’re going through an illness, recovering from surgery, or living with a chronic condition, yoga can become an integral part of your treatment and potentially hasten healing.
A yoga therapist can work with patients and put together individualized plans that work together with their medical and surgical therapies. That way, yoga can support the healing process and help the person experience symptoms with more centeredness and less distress.
1. Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility.
Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles while holding a pose can build strength.
Try it: Tree Pose
Balance on one foot, while holding the other foot to your calf or above the knee but never on the knee at a right angle. Try to focus on one spot in front of you, while you balance for one minute.
2. Yoga helps with back pain relief.
Yoga is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.
Try it: Cat-Cow Pose
Get on all fours, placing your palms underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. First, inhale, as you let your stomach drop down toward the floor. Then, exhale, as you draw your navel toward your spine, arching your spine like a cat stretching.
3. Yoga can ease arthritis symptoms.
Gentle yoga has been shown to ease some of the discomforts of tender, swollen joints for people with arthritis, according to a Johns Hopkins review of 11 recent studies.
4. Yoga benefits heart health.
Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.
6. Yoga can mean more energy and brighter moods.
You may feel increased mental and physical energy, a boost in alertness and enthusiasm, and fewer negative feelings after getting into a routine of practicing yoga.
7. Yoga helps you manage stress.
According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss, and quality sleep.
8. Yoga connects you with a supportive community.
Participating in yoga classes can ease loneliness and provide an environment for group healing and support. Even during one-on-one sessions loneliness is reduced as one is acknowledged as a unique individual, is listened to, and participates in the creation of a personalized yoga plan.