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Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together the mind and body. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuji’, which means ‘union’. In ancient times, yoga started out as a Hindu spiritual discipline. Fundamentally, yoga combines breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to promote relaxation and lower stress. Practising yoga regularly provides many benefits for both mental and physical health.

Research has shown that yoga encourages relaxation and can decreases stress by reducing the secretion of the stress hormone. One study followed 24 emotionally distressed women in a three-month yoga programme. At the end of the three months, the women had noticeably lower levels of stress. Besides that, they also had lower levels of anxiety, tiredness and depression. Another study involving 131 people found that 10 weeks of yoga helped them improve their quality of life and mental health.

In addition, multiple studies have shown that yoga can help to relieve anxiety. In a study on anxiety trouble, 34 women diagnosed with this problem attended yoga classes twice weekly for two months. After the two months, they had lower levels of anxiety compared to the control group. This is helpful in treating people suffering from traumatic experiences too.

For many individuals, yoga is a therapy to improve quality of life. In a study of women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy, yoga helped to decrease symptoms of the chemo radiation, such as vomiting.

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union – marriage, partnership, pairing, match
meditate – focus one’s mind for a period of time, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation
stress – a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from difficult or demanding circumstances
distressed – suffering from extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain
anxiety – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something
depression – feelings of severely low spirits from loss of hope or courage
traumatic – deeply disturbing or distressing
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