Q: Are there really health benefits of doing yoga??
A: Yes, but health benefits vary because people practice yoga in different ways. For example, people differ in how they emphasize and practice the physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation and relaxation techniques, and more. It’s difficult to conduct a controlled study of the effects of long-term yoga practice, but short-term studies have identified several health benefits. In one study, within a couple weeks of daily or near-daily yoga, high blood pressure improved. A 2007 review of the evidence found that within several weeks to several months, people with diabetes showed improved blood sugar control and blood cholesterol levels. These effects may relate to increased physical activity, reduced anxiety and changes in stress hormones from meditation practice or their interactive effects. Although yoga has been around for centuries, research is only beginning to understand all its effects. If you are looking for health benefits from yoga, it would be wise to learn from an instructor who includes both physical poses and meditative components. Find a style that is safe for you and fits your goals and physical abilities so you can continue doing yoga long-term.