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5 Things You Should Know About Yoga

Yoga typically combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Researchers are studying how yoga may be used to help improve health. Because many studies of yoga have included only small numbers of people and haven’t been of high quality, in most instances we can only say that yoga has shown promise for particular health uses, not that it’s been proven to help. If you’re thinking about practicing yoga, here are 5 things you should know:

  1. Studies suggest that yoga may be beneficial for a number of health conditions, including low-back pain, neck pain, and menopause symptoms. It may also help people lose weight or stop smoking.

  2. Yoga may have benefits for healthy people. Studies show that it may help people manage stress, enhance mental well-being, and improve sleep and balance. Practicing yoga regularly may also be linked with better eating and physical activity habits.

  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. Practicing yoga by self-study without supervision has been associated with increased risks.

  4. Yoga may have benefits for children. It is a promising stress management tool for children, and it may also be helpful for weight loss in children who are overweight or obese and for reducing anxiety.

  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 for pregnant women, including decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression.