We all know what stress can do to our bodies. We become irritable, sick, sluggish, and down right miserable to be around. Did you also realize that the physiological consequences of stress can also be deadly? A study published in American Heart Association journal STROKE takes a closer look at stress, yoga, and consequences of both.
This is the first controlled study to suggest that stress reduction by itself can reduce atherosclerosis without changes in diet and exercise, according to a team of researchers from UCLA, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, and Maharishi University of Management College of Maharishi Vedic Medicine in Fairfield, Iowa.
In this particular study, a group of hypertensive African-American men and women at a very high risk for heart disease were randomly assigned to Transcendental Meditation (TM) as taught through yoga or health education. Those practicing TM as taught through yoga realized a 11 percent decrease in risk of heart attack and a 7-15 percent decrease risk of stroke.
These reductions are comparable to those achieved by lipid-lowering medications or intensive lifestyle modification programs.
Think about that for a second. Simply practicing yoga and TM may have the same benefit as popping all those prescribed medications and overhauling your entire lifestyle. The power of yoga extends far beyond an hour or so of relaxing. Yoga has a lasting effect on our minds, bodies, and overall well-being. The great thing about yoga is that you don’t have to shell out tons of money to learn and practice this relaxing art. Yoga can easily be done in your own home with just a little instruction and an open mind.