Although many forms of yoga practise are safe, Hatha yoga, the most common type of yoga practised worldwide, combines three elements: physical poses, called asanas; controlled breathing practised in conjunction with asanas; and a short period of deep relaxation or meditation.
Yoga classes can vary from gentle and accommodating to strenuous and challenging; the choice of style is based on physical ability and personal preference. Some more dynamic yoga may not be appropriate for everyone.
For many yoga students dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, yoga may be a very appealing way to manage symptoms better. Indeed, the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely intertwined, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practise is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.
Chronic low-back pain:
Evidence-based clinical practise guidelines from the American College of Physicians gave a strong recommendation based on moderate-quality evidence, that clinicians and patients should initially select nonpharmacologic treatment including exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction (Wieland, L. S., Skoetz, N., Pilkington, K., Vempati, R., D’Adamo, C., Berman, B. M., 2017; Park, J., Krause-Parello, C, A., Barnes, C.M., 2020)
There is some limited evidence that yoga may provide short-term improvements for neck pain (Li, Y., Li, S., Jiang, J., Yuan, S.; 2019).
Results from clinical trials suggest that some mind and body practices, including yoga, may be beneficial additions to conventional treatment plans for patients with arthritis. However, some studies indicate that these practices may do more to improve other aspects of patient health than to relieve pain ( Wang, Y., Lu, S., Wang, R., Jiang, P., Rao, F., Wang, B., Zhu, Yong, Hu, Y., Zhu, J., 2018; Gautam, S., Tolahunase, M., Kumar, U., Dada, R.; 2019).
Since the 1970s, meditation and other stress-reduction techniques have been studied as possible treatments for depression and anxiety. One such practice – yoga – has received less attention in the medical literature, though it has become increasingly popular in recent decades (Tolahunase, M, R., Sagar R., Faiq, M., Dada, R., 2018).