Yoga is an ancient practice from traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) medicine. It usually involves breathing and meditation exercises and physical body movements or postures.
Yoga is commonly used to improve health, fitness, and quality of life. But some people also use yoga to help relieve stress, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve sleep along with many other uses. There is scientific research supporting the practice of yoga for some but not all medical conditions.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The Effectiveness ratings for Yoga are as follows:
Possibly Effective for...
Possibly Ineffective for...
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of yoga for these uses.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice and is an important part of traditional Indian or “Ayurvedic” medicine in India. Yoga uses several exercises including breathing, meditation, and body posture exercises. Many different styles of yoga exist that use a variety of techniques. The purpose of yoga is to achieve self-realization or enlightenment. Today it is also used for a variety of medical conditions and to maintain good health.
Like other forms of exercise and meditation, yoga appears to have several potentially beneficial effects. It can affect blood pressure, blood glucose levels, stress levels, and anxiety, and can affect brain chemicals related to mood.
Yoga is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when used appropriately. Like other forms of exercise, yoga might cause soreness in some people. In rare cases, hot yoga might cause heat stroke. Some reports have linked yoga exercises called "pranayam " and "Kapalabhati pranayama " to serious side effects involving the lungs. But these events are uncommon.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Children: Yoga is POSSIBLY SAFE when used appropriately by children under the supervision of a yoga teacher.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Yoga is POSSIBLY SAFE when used during pregnancy. There are some studies showing it doesn't harm the baby. However, some aggressive forms of yoga exercises might not be safe to use during pregnancy.
Stomach-area (abdominal) surgery: There is concern that some aggressive breathing techniques, such as "Kapalabhati pranayama ," might place too much pressure on the stomach area (abdomen) and harm people who have recently had abdominal surgery.
High blood pressure: There is concern that some aggressive breathing techniques, such as "Kapalabhati pranayama ," might temporarily increase blood pressure and harm people with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines.
Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.
The appropriate or safe use of yoga depends on several factors such as the condition being treated or the person administering the treatment. Be sure to seek and follow relevant directions from your physician or other healthcare professional before using this treatment.
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