No doubt you have noticed the recent popularity of yoga. Just a little while ago, many had never heard of yoga and now it is all the rage, with many celebrities touting its benefits. Yoga has become a universal healer. Not only could it reduce stress, but it could also increase your flexibility, reduce pain, improve your balance, and strengthen your immune system, and is a fantastic exercise program.
Yoga is said to be something of a miracle worker when it comes to back pain, especially in the lower back. Yoga works on back pain by first strengthening the muscles to reduce further strain and then by helping improve the posture of the participant, which leads to proper alignment of the back, thereby further reducing any pain. When your back is sore, you tend to slouch in order to relieve pain, but in fact this causes further pain. By improving posture, you could strengthen the spine and actually relieve pain. Yoga could also relieve tension and relax strained muscles. (Hint: when you attempt a yoga class, inform the instructor about any strained muscles or pain you are experiencing and they will incorporate certain postures and movements into the class to accommodate them.)
But yoga isn’t just good for healing muscular pain. In one clinical trial, yoga was studied as a therapy for women with breast cancer. Fifty-one women who were currently undergoing cancer therapy were asked to participate in weekly restorative yoga classes. The researchers noted that, after 10 weeks, participants reported feeling better in regards to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and overall quality of life. The participants also reported feeling less fatigue.
And in another study, patients with chronic heart failure were given an eight-week regimen of yoga. The research team discovered that the yoga sessions improved exercise capacity in the participants as well as reducing inflammatory markers and improving overall quality of life.
If you are looking to take up yoga, it is best to start out in a class. While there are a number of videos, it is best to ensure that you are breathing properly and doing the right poses. Once you get the hang of it, you can continue to do so from home.