40 Ways that Yoga Heals

Yoga The Ultimate Self-Care 8

When you invest in a yoga class, you invest in your health.

Here are 40 ways, supported by evidence, that yoga facilitates improved health and well-being on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
Of course, to maximise the health benefits you need to find the right style of yoga that suits your needs. This may include active practices, gentler practices, yoga asana and vinyasa, pranayama, meditation, restorative yoga, yoga nidra, group classes or one-to-one yoga therapy.
40 ways yoga heals:
Source: Yoga as Medicine by Timothy McCall, M.D., Published by Bantam Dell 2007
1. Increases flexibility
2. Strengthens muscles
3. Improves balance
4. Improves immune function
5. Improves posture
6. Improves lung function
7. Leads to slower, deeper breathing
8. Discourages mouth breathing
9. Increases oxygenation of tissues
10. Improves joint health
11. Nourishes interveterbral discs
12. Improves return of venous blood
13. Increases circulation of lymph
14. Improves function of the feet
15. Improves proprioception
16. Increases control of bodily functions
17. Strengthens bones
18. Conditions the cardiovascular system
19. Promotes healthy weight
20. Relaxes the nervous system
21. Improves nervous system function
22. Improves brain function
23. Activates the left prefrontal cortex
24. Changes neurotransmitter levels
25. Lowers stress hormone cortisol
26. Lowers blood sugar
27. Lowers blood pressure
28. Improves cholesterol levels
29. Thins the blood
30. Improves bowel function
31. Releases muscular tension
32. Effects measurable changes in body through intention/imagery
33. Relieves pain
34. Reduces need for medication
35. Fosters healing relationships
36. Improves psychological health
37. Leads to healthier habits
38. Fosters spiritual growth
39. Elicits the placebo effect
40. Encourages participation in your own healing
Compiled by Anahata Giri Copyright March 2014
Anahata Giri is a trained yoga therapist and offers one-to-one yoga therapy sessions to help students find a practice that nourishes their health and wellbeing.