Most exercise enthusiasts acknowledge that yoga isn’t the most comprehensive workout. Yet even though it’s not optimal for increasing strength, muscle, or cardiovascular health in isolation, it’s mindful physical movement.

Yogis claim numerous physical and psychological benefits result from yoga. But is there any data showing this?

Well, the double-blind test, adored by many Western health professionals, isn’t possible with yoga. If one group in a study is practicing healthy yoga, it’s hard to recruit a blind group that isn’t, and doesn’t know it. Still, yoga data does exist.

Heart disease

Yoga may help reverse heart disease. Well, when combined with aerobic exercise and a low-fat plant-based diet. The author of one study said, “Adherence to the yoga and meditation program was as strongly correlated with the changes in the amount of blockage [in the arteries] as was the adherence to diet.” Yoga may help to control inflammation throughout the body as well.

Pain, balance and flexibility

What is one of the greatest fears among the elderly? Falling. Yoga can help with balance in older folks. Just two sessions of Hatha yoga per week can increase stability. Before you dismiss yoga as a Friday night nursing home activity, yoga can improve balance in people under 60 years old too.

Yoga interventions have been shown to be effective for alleviating back pain and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Stress and mood

Yoga has long been used for relieving stress and improving mood. Plus, since some people overeat due to stress, conquering stress with yoga might indirectly improve nutrition.

Women undergoing treatment for cancer have found yoga to be helpful for mood and controlling stress levels.

Yoga may help control anxiety and the meditation aspect of yoga can assist those in prison with self-control.

Menopause

Yoga may be useful for alleviating symptoms of menopause.

Lymphatic system

Exercise, particularly yoga can help increase lymph drainage.

Epilepsy

There have been few reliable studies using yoga for epilepsy, but the results are encouraging. Yoga may stimulate the vagus nerve, which can decrease seizure frequency.