The medical field has made substantial investments in developing new, ground-breaking pharmaceuticals designed to support those on a path to health and wellness. Though, a one-dimensional emphasis on external sources of therapeutic help doesn’t take into consideration one of the most powerful tools available. 

Even individuals with behavioral health issues can learn and benefit from simple relaxation tools to curb impulses, become more aware of dangerous triggers, and regain a sense of empowerment.

In recent years, successful wellness plans have started to incorporate more holistic programs, such as yoga, to offer more self-guided options for wellness. Using the intuitive and meditative techniques of yoga, you can learn to become more proactive and less reactive to the stresses of everyday life.

Can Yoga Such a Powerful Part of Your Arsenal? 

  1. It’s spiritually agnostic. Often 12-step programs are built on teachings from religious denominations. Yoga is not a religion and doesn’t force any belief system upon those that choose to practice. Through a series of guided, coordinated movements, participants are solely asked to regain a sense of mindfulness.
  2. It’s portable. With yoga, once you’ve learned the basics, you can become more self-reliant using those tools on your own. Traveling to Tucson for business? You can still commit to a routine of downward dogs and sun salutations in your hotel room while on a business trip.
  3. It’s You. Most successful, wellness plans incorporate a variety of therapeutic treatments and therapies, including behavioral and clinical measures. Though, yoga offers a unique path to recovery in that it helps to tap into the strength and resources that already reside within you.

While the intention of yoga is personal for all participants, the ultimate goal is summed up well by Sri Krishna Pattabhi Joi, “It’s not your history, but your presence on your mat that matters.”

About one in seven U.S. adults practiced yoga in the past 12 months, according to a 2017 national survey. Among children age 4 to 17, it was about 1 in 12. The percentage of people who practice yoga grew from 2007 to 2012 and again from 2012 to 2017. This was true for both adults and children.

What are the health benefits of yoga?

Research suggests that yoga may:

  • Help you lose weight if you are currently overweight or obese.
  • Help you quit smoking
  • Improve your general mental health by relieving stress while simultaneously supporting good health habits, sleep, and balance.
  • Relieve lower back pain and neck pain.
  • Help you manage anxiety or depression-like symptoms. However, it is essential to note that yoga has not been shown to help manage anxiety disorders, clinical depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, even though there’s been plenty of research on the health effects of yoga, most studies have only included small quantities of people and haven’t been of high quality.

About the Author

Author: Lompoc Valley Medical Center,

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