Benefits & Research

Evidence for the multiple benefits of yoga abounds in medical research, and both eastern and western approaches recognize its contributions to holistic wellness. While some of the positive effects of yoga are well known, such as increased flexibility and lowered stress levels, some may be surprising to newcomers.

Yoga Journal’s medical editor, Dr. Timothy McCall, provides an excellent list of fifty ways that yoga “works,” as supported by evidence consistent with a western scientific world-view. McCall explains how yoga can increase functionality in all systems of the body, with effects as wide-ranging as greater health of the spine and joints, lowered cholesterol, improved oxygen delivery throughout the body, and a bolstered immune system. Emotional and spiritual gains may include strengthened abilities to create positive habits, recover from sensory overload, restore balance of neurotransmitters, reduce anger, and feel connected to others.

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