What, According To Modern Science, Are Some Of The Benefits Of Practicing Yoga And Meditation?
The value of regular Yoga and Meditation practice has been widely declared for years. And now, these declarations have some scientific research behind them.
Yoga and Meditation practice have been used to promote wellness in the body, mind, and spirit (and this is important to note, because, if a practice is not centered on all three areas, especially spirit, it cannot truly be defined as supporting Yoga, or being a Yoga practice) to create inner evolution and higher spiritual connection in individuals from numerous parts of the world. For thousands of years, the complementary practices have effectively fulfilled the vital function of helping humans to cope with, overcome, and eventually transcend (or become Liberated from) suffering in their lives, and to come into purer and fuller levels of Self-Expression, joy, and wellbeing.
But, what according to our current science, does Yoga practice do “To Your Body And Brain?”
What are some of the benefits that have been confirmed by modern research so far (keeping in mind that there is still much left to be explored and to learn), that helps to support anyone’s decision to keep moving forward with a lifestyle centered on, or guided by, Yoga and Meditation practice (as if those who are serious practitioners, and directly know the benefits of practice, need convincing in the first place)?
Here, According To Modern Scientific Research, Are Some Of The Benefits Of Yoga & Meditation Practice
Recent scientific research has found that Yoga and Meditation practice can help individuals with a wide range of physical and mental health conditions. Some of these conditions include anxiety & depression, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and insomnia.
A number of research findings also suggest that regular Yoga and Meditation practice can help to reduce physical ailments like chronic pain, and support improved cardiovascular health–in addition to supporting practitioners with improving their overall well-being by creating body-mind, and spiritual, balance and alignment.
Below, you will find a few detailed research findings that serve as “evidence” to support the declared benefits of Yoga and Meditation practice:
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs, wellness programs that combine mindfulness meditation with yoga practice, can help improve quality of life, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and lower the levels of stress hormones in individuals. (Source: Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine). These types of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs have also been found to successfully reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans by an average of 33.2%. (Source: Journal of Traumatic Stress)
- Mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression by an average of 8.3% in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). (Source: Journal of Affective Disorders). One study found that an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program reduced symptoms of depression by an average of 44.8% in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). (Source: Journal of Clinical Psychology)
- In 2010, a study published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders discovered that a 12-week yoga intervention program reduced symptoms of social anxiety disorder (SAD) by an average of 33.2%. This study’s findings are in direct alignment with research that found that mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by approximately 3.24-3.35 points on a standardized 0-8 point scale. (Source: Journal of Affective Disorders)
- Supporting numerous other findings, including a few that have been listed above, an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program was shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety by an average of 10.7% in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). (Source: Journal of Psychiatric Research).
- Additionally, regular yoga practice has been shown to improve physical function and reduce risk of falls (and, therefore, injury, impairment, and/or disability) in older adults. (Source: Journal of Physical Activity and Health)
The simple fact of the matter remains that, from our current, and ancient, scientific research, and from the countless pieces of anecdotal evidence that come from the growing number of people who practice Yoga and Meditation world-wide, and in the US–which is now well over 36 million since 2016–Yoga and Meditation practices are proven to be beneficial for a number of different reasons.
If you have not yet started a regular Yoga and Meditation routine, but have been strongly considering it, I hope that the facts that were presented in this post will give you a little motivational and incentive to begin your personalized Sadhana routine today.
And, if you are already a beginner or advanced Yogi, I hope that you were further inspired to keep practicing, aligning, and moving forward with your Yoga and Meditation goals:
Watch the video below to find out more about Yoga’s effect on the body and brain:
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