The history of yoga stretches back as far as ancient India, when people practiced it to increase their tranquility and spiritual insight. Today, many Americans enjoy it to help them relax and increase their flexibility — and may even improve their heart health. However, yoga does not count towards physical activity requirements of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week. Yoga is the art of reposing in different postures while keeping focus on the breath. As a result, every yoga posture has a particular effect on the respiratory system; and therefore affecting the heart as well.
There is promising evidence that practising yoga is an effective way to manage and improve the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.
Yoga, an ancient mind-body practice which originated in India and incorporates physical, mental, and spiritual elements, has been shown in several studies to be effective in improving cardiovascular risk factors, with reduction in the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
In the current study investigators from the Netherlands and the US performed a review of 37 randomised controlled trials (which included 2768 subjects) in order to appraise the evidence and provide a realistic pooled estimate of yogas effectiveness when measured against exercise and no exercise.
Looking at the result in depth, it was found that risk factors for cardiovascular disease improved more in those doing yoga than in those doing no exercise, and second, that yoga had an effect on these risks comparable to exercise.
When compared to no …
Beginning yoga can be a challenge. Attending a general yoga class populated by fit 30-somethings who expect a good workout can be a disheartening introduction.
If you are a few gray hairs beyond 30, look for a yoga class that includes the full package — poses, breathing, and meditation — rather than one that offers just exercise with a yoga bent to it.
People with heart disease often have other health concerns, like arthritis or osteoporosis, that limit their flexibility. A good yoga instructor creates a safe environment for his or her students and helps them modify poses to meet their abilities and limitations.
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