By Jamey Jones
The benefits of yoga, which have been experienced for thousands of years, are now being studied scientifically. The results of such studies are showing the widespread effects of yoga ranging from emotional to mental, physical, and beyond. One very physical effect that yoga has on the body is the ability to reduce inflammation. But what is inflammation? Well, when you burn or cut your finger, inflammation is involved. Further, inflammation is involved in just about every chronic illness. So, reducing inflammation is an important part of maintaining health.
And yoga does just that. Reducing stress, in general, has an anti-inflammatory effect, but so does yoga specifically. In fact, one study has found that women who practice yoga at least twice weekly are less likely to have increases of an inflammatory compound in the blood (IL-6) after a stressful event.
This may not sound like much, but stress is at the basis of so many health conditions. Being able to deal with all types of stress, even in small ways-like taking a deep breath, staying in the moment (instead of getting lost in thoughts not based in reality), and releasing muscle tension-can have far-reaching effects on your health. Mind, body and soul.