Is Yoga Really Necessary For Health?: A review

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Is yoga really necessary for health?
Is yoga really necessary for health?

Is Yoga really necessary for health ?

  • Before I answer this question, It is very important to know about  the theme of International Yoga Day this year (2023). 

What is Yoga after all ?

  • Before starting this topic, In normal language, it is very important   to understand that, what is Yoga ?… 
  • The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit    word ‘yuja/yujir’ which means “to unite”.
  • Yoga is the means to establish harmony and balance in the mind, spirit and body.
  • Yoga is the confluence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual discipline.
  • Yoga is the way to live the right life.
  • The World Health organization (W.H.O.), in      its definition of Health, has given priority to physical, social and mental development.
  • For some years, it has been emphasized  that,  spiritual health should also included in this.
  • In nut shell, It is not being just healthy, it is important to feel healthy. 
  • Yoga has been the subject of research for the last few years for modern diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic lung diseases and mental health.
  • All the research that has been done, tells that, if Yoga is told to patients with medicine, then it gives better results.
Weight and Obesity:

Is Yoga Really Necessary For Health?

  • Both overweight and obesity are dangerous for diabetes, high blood pressure and Heart disease.
  • Yoga has been found to be helpful in controlling obesity. Research suggests that through a Yoga expert doing Yogasanas and Pranayam every day, every morning for three months continuously reduces body weight, body mass index (B.M.I.) and increased waist- line.
  • It has been observed that anxiety and stress are more prone to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. 
  • At this time through Yoga, the levels of salivary cortisol, plasma renin and epinephrine has been significantly decreased. 

High Blood Pressure 

  • Regular Yoga practice for one hour daily has been found to be effective in controlling high blood pressure.
  • Meditation along with Yoga and psychotherapy if included, have an effect similar to blood controlling drugs.
  • Studies have shown that, if pranayama is done at rate of 6 times/minute, heart rate is controlled  and there is significant reduction in blood pressure.


  • India is known as the “Diabetic capital” of the world, as it has the highest number of diabetes cases.
  • Yoga Asana and practice of Pranayam help in controlling  type-2 diabetes, and if done with medicines, it undoubtedly gives good benefits.
  • By doing Yoga Asana and Pranayam training everyday for three consecutive months, there has been decrease in sugar level (before and after breakfast).
  • Yoga also has positive and beneficial effect on the brain in type-2 diabetes. Good results can be achieved by incorporating yoga with traditional medicine.

Lipid Level

  • Level of cholesterol remains at very normal level with the help of Yoga. 
  • Less density lipoproteins (LDLs), very low density lipoproteins (VLDLs),triglycerides levels which are dangerous to the heart, they are also known as “bad cholesterol”. 
  • Level of these cholesterol in the body decreased significantly with the help of Yoga.
  • High density lipoproteins (HDLs), which are good cholesetrol, increase with  Yoga.
  • Studies on type-2 diabetes patients have shown beneficial effects of Yogasanas and Pranayama on serum lipid levels.
  • Regular Yoga for a period of one year has  shown a gradual reduction in symptoms of patient with coronary artery block of the patient.
  • Patients also have shown to improve exercise capacity and decrease in body weight.
    Is yoga really necessary for health?
    Is yoga really necessary for health?

Lungs Problems

  • Doing Yoga greatly improves lung function and respiratory muscle strength.
  • Yogasanas, pranayam and regular medicine helps a lot in respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis etc.
  • Yoga also has an important contribution in reducing the amount of medicines used in these diseases.

Mental Health

  • Yoga considers not only physical health, but also very important in maintaining mental health.
  • When Yoga is done regularly, it is helpful in relieving stress.
  • Positive and soothing effects of Yoga has been seen in patients with psychiatric illnesses like depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis etc. 
  • Now a days mental health experts too, have started seeing Yoga as possible treatment option for various mental health professionals. 
  • It can also be an effective solution as an option for mental patients.

Evaluation of Yoga as therapy

  • Yoga is cost effective and has no side effects as can be the case with allopathic drugs.
  • The number of Yoga Practitioners in India is more than the number of mental health professionals, still Yoga is not the first priority in medicine. Why?
  • Even Yoga has not become the first choice of Psychiatrists.
  • Yoga is not widely  popular among mentally ill people seeking hospital treatment. 
  • The reasons for these are many: such as the lack of scientific evidence that meets contemporary criteria for evidence based medicine.
  • Yoga also takes time, and there has not been much research that can prove the authenticity of Yoga effectively.
  •  A lot of work needs to be done in this direction right now, only then we can adopt Yoga as a medical option.
  • Special type of Yoga for psychiatric diseases are done only in some centers and serious and incurable diseases are treated at larger centers.
  • There  is a need to include Yoga at these institutions, even if it is only as an option.
  • Yoga is originated in India, it is an indigenous technique, but more than its home country, it is popular abroad.
  • The widespread popularity of Yoga in Western countries suggests that it is acceptable to most individuals.

Negative effects of Yoga as a therapy

  • Yoga is generally seen as a safe and effective exercise. But like any other form of exercise, when Yoga is also practiced improperly, it can have negative effects.
  • Yoga should be done according to one’ ability. It is important to do Yoga correctly in the beginning, do not practice Yoga in the wrong style. 
  • The practice of Yoga can be harmful in severe mental illnesses. If it is to be done, then it is necessary  to do it under the guidance of someone.
  • Yoga should always be done on an empty stomach. It is suggested to practice Yoga 4-5 hours after meals.
  • Light cloth should be used while doing Yoga. Do Yoga in relaxed mood.
  • Yoga should not be done in the event of too much stress.
  • If you do not understand, it is very important to consult Yoga practitioners. The right procedures must be followed to practice Yoga.
  • Doing Yoga improperly can have negative consequences. Those patients who are suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure bone pain, spinal problems, or any other chronic disease should avoid Yoga.
  • Yogasanas should not be performed after hard work. To pracice Yoga, an interval of at least half an hour should be maintained after hard work.
  • It is normal to have more stretches of neck, shoulders, spine, legs and muscles during Yoga. 
Is yoga really necessary for health?
Is yoga really necessary for health?
  • Special precautions should be taken during pregnancy. Pregnant women should do Yoga only under the guidance of experienced Yoga practitioners.
  • Children born in today’s world are victims of stress and its weaknesses.
  • Yoga can become a great support for children and young people, to cope with the stress and related challenges, they experience in their daily lives, and to keep calm and focused. 
  • In today’s changing time, adopting Yoga as a way of daily life will be highly beneficial.

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