September is National Yoga Month 

National Yoga Month is designed to educate Americans about the health benefits of yoga and inspire a healthy lifestyle.

“Over 35 million US adults use mind/body medicine for better health,” says Dr. Herbert Benson, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director Emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.

Here are a few of the health benefits of yoga:

Reduces obesity: 
Obesity rates in the United States have reached epidemic proportions. Yoga keeps people more in tune with their bodies and more aware of bad habits, such as overeating.

Reduces hypertension : Hypertension, or high blood pressure, remains the most common reason for office visits to physicians for non-pregnant adults in the United States. Research has just begun but one study, small but significant reductions in blood pressure were shown in just three weeks of daily yoga.

Reduces heart disease: 
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease has topped the list of killer diseases in America every year since 1918. Several clinical trials have found that yoga can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and resting heart rates, and help slow the progression of atherosclerosis—all risk factors for heart disease.

Reduces discomfort of breast cancer treatment: 
Breast cancer incidence in women has increased from 1 in 20 in 1960 to 1 in 8 today. Research has shown that women who do yoga during and after treatment experience less physical discomfort and stress and feel more energetic and relaxed.

Reduces symptoms of menopause
: Hot flashes, mood swings, trouble sleeping, fatigue, anxiety, sore joints, muscles and tendons and a host of other conditions are symptoms of menopause. A preliminary study at the University of California, San Francisco, found that menopausal women who took two months of a weekly restorative yoga class reported a 30 percent decrease in hot flashes.

Reduces chronic back pain: 
Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints to physicians today. When doctors at the HMO Group Health Cooperative in Seattle pitted 12 weekly sessions of yoga against therapeutic exercises and a handbook on self-care, they discovered the yoga group not only showed greater improvement but experienced benefits lasting 14 weeks longer.

Reduces symptoms of arthritis: 
An estimated 46 million adults in the United States reported being told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia. At the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, a yoga-treated group with osteoarthritis of the hands improved significantly more than the control group in “pain during activity, tenderness, and finger range of motion.”

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