September is National Yoga Awareness Month

Posted 09/05/2016 | By HealthCorps

The goal of the September yearly Yoga Awareness Month campaign is to educate the general public about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire individuals to live a healthy lifestyle. Throughout the month, yoga studios across the nation will be offering free yoga classes and there are hundreds of community events in celebration of Yoga Awareness Month.

Back in 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services designated this month as National Yoga Awareness Month, one of a select number of yearly health calendar observances. During the first year of this designation, thousands of yoga enthusiasts participated in a ten-city yoga health festival tour that featured lectures, classes, music, entertainment, and exhibits. The movement has grown worldwide with global awareness campaigns helping to educate, inspire, and motivate people to adopt a healthier lifestyle with yoga being one possible core habit.

Yoga has been featured in a number of clinical trials that have looked at its impact on risk of breast cancer, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, chronic back pain, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis, and its impact on minimizing uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause. Many of the studies also looked at the many benefits that yoga offers.

Certain types of vigorous yoga performed for 90 minutes five days a week can help with weight management and weight loss.

Research suggests that yoga can help to lower your risk of developing hypertension and also help in the management of hypertension.

Studies suggest that yoga, in addition to lowering blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease, can also help to lower cholesterol levels and resting heart rate, as well as reduce progression of atherosclerosis. Experts credit yoga’s meditative elements as the key for stabilizing the lining of blood vessels.

Studies suggest that yoga during and after treatment for breast cancer can help to limit physical discomfort and stress. It may help to also energize and relax women in recovery.

Chronic back pain is the third most common disorder in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer. Certain yoga poses may help to relieve pain and strengthen vulnerable areas of the back and spine.

As an adjunct to traditional asthma therapy, yoga may be helpful in treating asthma.

Yoga has been shown to raise levels of GABA (a brain neurotransmitter), helping to improve mood and alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A 1994 randomized controlled study published in the Journal of Rheumatology showed that yoga was effective in providing relief in hand osteoarthritis.

Other benefits of yoga include:

• Increased flexibility.
• Increased muscle strength and tone.
• Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
• Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
• Weight reduction.
• Cardio and circulatory health.
• Improved athletic performance.
• Protection from injury.

There are many different types of yoga. You may want to try different classes, instructors, and different approaches so you can find a yoga discipline that you like. Kids and adults can enjoy yoga.

Sources: YogaHealth Foundation

American Osteopathic Association

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