Research has found yoga effective in many areas of wellbeing from musculo-skeletal fitness to internal medicine and mental health
Benefits have been found in:
The evidence for yoga helping manage and treat low back pain has been well established
Three systematic reviews (Singh; 2016. Diaz 2013 & Cramer 2013) found yoga efficacious in
Two systematic reviews on yoga for neck pain found positive links between yoga and reduction in pain and disability
Kim (2016) reviewed just 3 trials. Despite apparent benefits a high risk of bias emphasized the need for further well conducted studies
Crow (2015) reviewed 6 trials with 570 patients practising Iyengar yoga. The results are favourable for short term relief. Longer term benefit has yet to be demonstrated
Osteo-arthritis (O/A) refers to joint pain associated with wear-and-tear
O/A is associated with age, but can happen in younger people, eg after injury
Kan (2016) systematically reviewed yoga for knee osteo-arthritis and found improvements in pain and mobility within two weeks of yoga practice
A recent review (Chu 2014) found yoga improved cardiovascular health and metabolic syndrome* at levels comparable to aerobic exercise, with positive effects on
*(Metabolic syndrome combines high blood pressure, high blood sugar, over-weight and abnormal cholesterol levels, and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke)
"...though yoga cannot at the moment be considered a definitive treatment for asthma, it can be beneficial as an adjunct to standard medical management"
Cramer (2014) reviewed yoga for asthma. despite a lack of evidence for yoga being superior to "sham" yoga or general exercise, the team concluded that there was a demonstrably positive effect on respiratory functions and quality of life compared to usual care and psychological methods of management
Other areas of high-level research include
Chong (2011) reviwed the effects of yoga on stress-associated symptoms. The 8 studies included described beneficial effects from practising yoga:
"Despite some studies using less than adequate measurement methods, there is positive evidence that yoga can reduce perceived stress as effectively as relaxation, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dance"
Kirkwood (2005) systematically reviewed the effectiveness of yoga for the treatment of clinical anxiety, concluding:
"Owing to the diversity of conditions treated and the poor quality of most of the studies, it is still not possible to say that yoga is effective in treating anxiety or anxiety disorders in general, but there are encouraging results, particularly with obsessive compulsive disorder"
Systematic reviews by Pilkington (2004 ) and Cramer et al (2013) have found a positive role for yoga in depression. Cramer included twelve trials with 619 participants. Three had a low risk of bias. They conclude:
"Despite methodological drawbacks of the included studies, yoga could be considered an ancillary treatment option for patients with depressive disorders..." (Cramer, 2013)
The list above is not exhaustative. Contact us with your question or request to see how yoga can help you lead a happier, healthier life