I just read a news story that caught my eye.
“Taking a 12-week yoga class and practicing at home was linked to less insomnia—but not to fewer or less bothersome hot flashes or night sweats.”
Sounds good right?
Later in the article:
“Exercise seemed linked to slightly improved sleep and less insomnia and depression, and yoga also was linked to better sleep quality and less depression—but these effects were not statistically significant.”
So which is it???
The article also in no way details what this yoga practice might be. Which I find odd – since their are so many possibilities. Fast vinyasa – restorative poses – pranayama. Who knows what they were doing.
I’ve seen first hand the benefits of doing a practice which combines some restorative poses and breath work for women experiencing insomnia in menopause. I’ve also taught a combination of pranayama and chanting with similar results. And a few other times I’ve taught more intense asana combined with extended yoga nidra with good results. The practices given depends on the constitution of the person.
My hope is, that as more and more coverage is given to yoga therapeutics in the media – it will be balanced with more information about how yoga therapy actually works. That it isn’t a “one size fits all” prescription. And that, just like all healing modalities, practitioners have many options when working with a client.
A review of the evidence shows that yoga therapy can reduce risk factors and improve the condition of those with heart disease.
Yoga exercises can help improve physical, psychological and spiritual health – or so it is claimed. Researchers at Peninsula Medical School, in South-West England, reviewed the best evidence they could find on the effects of yoga therapy on heart disease. They found six – out of 11 – trials that were good enough to draw useful conclusions.
These showed that yoga improves lipid profiles and helps with weight loss. Yoga also reduces the number of angina episodes, increases exercise tolerance and decreases narrowing of the arteries (coronary stenosis). Given that yoga is relatively cheap, and acceptable to many people as a therapy, it would be useful to have some bigger studies to confirm its effectiveness for heart disease, say the researchers.
In my personal practice, I’ve seen these kinds of overall improvements in many conditions. These studies often don’t really specify the exact practices given to participants. It makes sense though that a practice that decreases stress levels and blood pressure would improve outcomes for heart disease.
I look forward to the day that studies are big enough that patients are covered for yoga therapy to improve outcomes.
A yogi can dream, can’t he?
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