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Yoga Each Day Keeps The Doctor Away

In the United States the form of yoga most often practiced is Hatha yoga. Using yoga for health improvement is now a common practice in this country. The health benefits of yoga are generally well recognized. It is not just an exercise fad or a trend but a centuries old, meditative discipline that has won the respect of medically trained physicians. The practice of yoga is routinely recommended as a component of treatment for a variety of conditions ranging from weight loss to the pain and stiffness of arthritis.


What Can Yoga Do For You?

While yoga itself may not be a specific cure for any one condition there are established links between yoga and health benefits of many kinds. The practice is especially good for stress related conditions, cardiac and high blood pressure problems, and conditions like arthritis that effect range of motion and flexibility of the joints.


Will Yoga Do Different Things For Different People?

The practice of yoga for health improvement is an option for all age groups. Too often yoga is perceived as something done by groups of women almost as a social function but in reality, yoga is a discipline with something for everyone.


Older People

Increasingly nursing homes and assisted living facilities offer yoga classes to their elderly residents as a means of gentle exercise. Generally these older individuals feel that the practice has a positive effect on their overall health and yoga tends to lift the depression so prevalent in older people. If nothing else, it draws them together in a group activity and combats the sense of isolation so common in the elderly.



For men, yoga is often a means to restore their flexibility and to begin building back their strength after an illness or injury makes more strenuous forms of exercise less accessible to them. Unfortunately many American men see the practice of yoga as being exclusively the purview of women, an attitude that keeps them from fully exploring the yoga asanas and health benefits they impart.



Without question, more women than men practice yoga in the United States. Because women often suffer from lower back pain as a simple consequence of their anatomical structure, yoga helps to promote flexibility in those parts of the body. Additional yoga can have a balancing effect on premenstrual and menopausal issues, both times in a woman's life when stress and depression can be prevalent and oppressive.

Yoga is gentle enough to be practiced by pregnant women and is also a good means of getting back in shape after giving birth without placing too much stress on the body. Because they are more accepting of the practice, yoga and women's health often go hand in hand. In fact, women report, looking forward to the quiet and meditative time in their day when they practice the asanas.



In the United States there is a growing problem with children who are overweight and out of shape. Increasingly day care facilities, summer camps, and even schools are teaching yoga as a means of physical fitness for children who are not athletically inclined. In some instances, there are also reports of children with hyperactivity and attention deficit problems achieving a calmer mental and behavioral state and exhibiting a greater ability to focus when introduced to a regular yoga routine.



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