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5 Things You Should Know About Yoga

Yoga typically combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Researchers are studying how yoga may be used to help improve health. If you’re thinking about practicing yoga, here are 5 things you should know:

  1. Studies suggest that yoga may be beneficial for several health conditions. A large amount of research has been done on low-back pain, and the evidence suggests a slight benefit. Smaller amounts of research indicate that yoga may help to relieve neck pain, headaches, and knee osteoarthritis pain. Yoga may also help people manage anxiety symptoms, depression, and menopause symptoms, lose weight, and stop smoking.

  2. Yoga may have benefits for wellness. Studies show that yoga may relieve stress, support good health habits, and improve mental/emotional health, sleep, and balance.

  3. Yoga is generally considered a safe form of physical activity for healthy people when practiced appropriately. However, as with other forms of physical activity, you can get hurt doing yoga. To reduce your risk of injury, practice yoga under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Learning yoga on your own without supervision has been associated with increased risks.

  4. Yoga may have benefits for children. Preliminary evidence suggests it may reduce anxiety and depression in children and teens. Yoga may also be helpful for weight loss in children with overweight or obesity. 

  5. With appropriate precautions, yoga can be safe during pregnancy. It’s usually good to be active when you’re pregnant, but you should be evaluated by your health care provider to make sure exercise is safe for you. Some activities, including yoga, may need to be modified during pregnancy (for example, to avoid spending long periods lying on your back). Yoga may have health benefits during pregnancy, including decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression.