Yoga has taken the world by storm, but how do you know this practice is good for you? What are the benefits, and how can you stay safe?
Research shows there are a multitude of health benefits for both mind and body.
A 2017 study published in the International journal of Yoga Therapy found that a 10- week program eased stress, improved depression, and increased self-awareness. Other research showed potential relief from the symptoms of anxiety. Mindfulness and self-compassion also improve with two or more sessions per week.
On the physical side the benefits are broad; research shows regular yoga increases flexibility and strength, and promotes greater healing from discomfort or injury.
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Rheumatology investigated yoga in relation to chronic low back pain. Regular practice lessened pain, decreased disability, was ‘do-able’ and safe.
But, like any exercise, intensity matters. Everyone needs to train to build physical strength and stamina. This is the same for yoga. A beginner must begin at a beginner’s level, but with time and practice bodies change, and you’ll find your level of fitness and ability improves.
So, can certain yoga positions be harmful? Yes, pain, soreness and injuries can occur. Naturally! Like starting at a gym, yoga may temporarily cause tenderness. Pushing too hard, too soon can cause injuries. If you’re a yoga beginner, it’s wise to start slowly. There’s no need to keep up with others. If a pose hurts, stop. Seek advice before continuing. Soreness doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice; there may simply be a better way to position yourself, for now.
If you are already under our care for back pain, please ask us whether yoga is suitable for you. Adapting your practice may be all you need to reap the many benefits of yoga.
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.