Health-conscious individuals can do many things to improve their overall health . As medical researchers continue to uncover new things about how to achieve optimal health , one practice dating back to ancient times remains a highly effective way to take care of the human body .
Though there ’ s no written records regarding the origins and invention of yoga , the practice is believed to date back to ancient India . The earliest written record of yoga is “ The Yoga Sutra of Pantañjali ,” a collection of aphorisms that historians believe was compiled sometime between 500 BCE and 400 BCE .
Despite its age , yoga has not been studied extensively by medical researchers . According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , many studies looking into the health effects of yoga have included only small numbers of people and have not been of high quality . As a result , the NCCIH can only say that yoga shows promise in regard to helping people manage or overcome certain health issues , but not that it has been proven to do so .
Though yoga may need to be studied more closely and extensively , many people who include it in their regular health care routines report feeling better both physically and mentally for having done so , and that may not be a coincidence . A 2004 comprehensive review of yoga ’ s use as a therapeutic intervention published in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology indicated that yoga targets unmanaged stress , which has been linked to chronic disorders like anxiety , depression , obesity , diabetes , and insomnia .
In addition to that review , the NCCIH notes that research has suggested yoga can :
• Relieve low-back pain and neck pain
• Relieve menopause symptoms
• Help people manage anxiety or depressive symptoms associated with difficult life situations
• Help people quit smoking
• Help people who are overweight or obese lose weight
• Help people with chronic diseases manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life .
It ’ s important that anyone considering making yoga part of their health care routines recognize that there are various forms of yoga , some of which are more physically demanding than others . So it ’ s best if individuals speak with their physicians before trying yoga so they can find the type that aligns best with their current levels of fitness .
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