As yoga has become an increasingly essential part of 21st-century life, scientists, armed with new tools that allow them to look ever deeper into the body, have been turning their attention to what happens physiologically when we practice yoga in Charlotte.
While studies of yoga’s impact on health are at an all-time high, experts say that much of the research is still in the early stages.
In the meantime, the patterns beginning to emerge suggest that what we know about how yoga keeps us well may be just the beginning.
- Pain Reliever: Yoga in Charlotte shows promise as a treatment for relieving certain kinds of chronic pain. When German researchers compared Iyengar Yoga with a self-care exercise program among people with chronic neck pain, they found that yoga reduced pain scores by more than half.
- Yes, You Can: Studies show that yoga may benefit people who have a variety of health risk factors, including being overweight, sedentary, and at risk for type 2 diabetes. Forty-two people who had not practiced yoga within the previous year took part in an eight-week program; at the end of the program, more than 80 percent reported that they felt calmer and had better overall physical functioning.
- Ray of Light: Much attention has been given to yoga’s potential effect on the persistent dark fog of depression. Because depressed people tend to be prone to reflection, seated meditation could be difficult for them to embrace. Yoga in Charlotte provides a different focus from worry about the future or regret about the past. It’s an opportunity to focus your attention somewhere else.
- Happy Day: It’s taken the development of modern technologies like functional MRI screening to give scientists a glimpse of how yogic practices like asana and meditation affect the brain. Long-term practitioners see changes in brain structure that correlate with their being less reactive and less emotionally explosive.
- Stay Sharp: Asana, pranayama and meditation all train you to fine-tune your attention, whether by syncing your breathing with movement, focusing on the subtleties of the breath or letting go of distracting thoughts. Studies have shown that yogic practices such as these can help your brain work better.
- Maintenance Plan: A 2013 review of 17 clinical trials concluded that a regular yoga practice that includes pranayama and deep relaxation, practiced for 60 minutes three times a week, is an effective tool for maintaining a healthy weight, particularly when home practice is part of the program.
- Rest Easy: In our revved-up world, our bodies spend too much time in an over-stimulated state, contributing to an epidemic of sleep problems. Asana can stretch and relax your muscles, breathing exercises can slow your heart rate to help prepare you for sleep, and regular meditation can keep you from getting tangled up in the worries that keep you from drifting off.
- Better Sex: Yoga increases blood flow and circulation throughout the body, including the genitals. Some researchers think yoga may also boost libido by helping practitioners feel more in tune with their bodies.
- Cool Inflammation: Increasing evidence shows that the body’s inflammatory response can also be triggered in more chronic ways by factors including stress and a sedentary lifestyle. And a chronic state of inflammation can raise your risk for disease. Researchers found that a group of regular yoga practitioners (who practiced once or twice a week for at least three years) had much lower blood levels of an inflammation-promoting immune cell than a group new to yoga in Charlotte.
- Younger-Looking DNA: While the fountain of youth remains a myth, recent studies suggest that yoga and meditation may be associated with cellular changes that affect the body’s aging process.
If you would like to learn more about how Yoga in Charlotte can benefit your health, call our office or stop by today and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions!