Yoga and meditation may do more than just help you feel relaxed in the moment. A new scientific review suggests that these and other mindfulness exercises can actually reverse stress-related changes in genes linked to poor health and depression. Total of 846 people—on the biological effects of meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, Qi gong and Tai Chi. Together, the authors say, the studies show that these mind-body exercises appear to suppress the expression of genes and genetic pathways that promote inflammation. Inflammation can temporarily boost the immune system, and can be protective against infection and injury, the authors write in their paper. But in today’s society, in which stress is primarily psychological, the body’s inflammatory response can become chronic and can impair both physical and mental health.
Researchers found that people who practiced these activities regularly had fewer signs of inflammation, including a decrease in their production of inflammatory proteins. This signals “the reversal of the molecular signature of the effects of chronic stress,” they wrote, which may translate to a reduced risk of inflammation-related diseases and conditions.
What can yoga do for your body?
The researchers found that yoga outperformed aerobic exercise at improving balance, flexibility, strength, pain levels among seniors, menopausal symptoms, daily energy level, and social and occupation functioning, among other health parameters. Yoga does more than calm you down and make you flexible
The original context of yoga was spiritual development practices to train the body and mind to self observe and become aware of their own nature. The purposes were to cultivate discernment, awareness, self-regulation and higher consciousness in the individual.
Yoga is a great activity for you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. It gives you strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness. You get the added benefit of a mind-body approach that can help you relax and energize.
Yoga offers both the goal and the means to reach it. Yoga has a diverse range of things that it can offer. It could be said that a primary goal is to gain balance and control in one’s life. The practice exercises aims at overcoming the limitations of the body.