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Yoga = Apple?

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Apple_green

You know the old saying about an apple a day?  Well maybe we should be eating that apple and then spending some time practicing yoga….

There are increasing numbers of studies pointing to potential benefits from yoga in a variety of conditions.  At the American College of Cardiology conference this month a study was presented that showed several beneifts of yoga in patients with a common irregular heart rhythm called Atrial Fibrillation.  These included a 45% reduction in episodes of arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) as well as significant reduction in anxiety level.  This adds to recent studies showing positive effects of yoga on in Heart Failure, in Coronary Heart Disease (heart blockages), in High Blood Pressure and in various types of Arthritis.  Yoga can improve strength and flexibility, can be “anti-stress” and promote calmness & a sense of well-being, and may help relieve asthma symptoms.  There is more research about yoga in progress including studies looking at insomnia and multiple sclerosis.  

So is yoga a panacea?  No probably not, but it does seem to have wide-ranging positive effects and is probably under-utilized in conditions in which it could help.  If you’re suffering from one of the problems I mentioned, consider talking to your doctor about whether yoga might play a role in your care.  If you’re not suffering from one of these problems, consider yoga as one way to incorporate regular exercise into your life.