Yoga: a Path to Healing and Recovery

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YOGA: A PATH TO HEALING AND RECOVERY

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Yoga: A Path to Healing and Recovery Leonel H. Herrera WGU 5/23/13

YOGA: A PATH TO HEALING AND RECOVERY

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Yoga: A Path to Healing and Recovery In the introduction to Horton’s book 21st Century Yoga Culture, Politics, and Practice it illustrates how in the past 15 years yoga has gone from a cultural eccentricity to a $27 billion industry and is taught everywhere from spas to prisons (Horton, 2012). According to WEBMD Yoga has been practiced for more than 5 thousand years and 11 million Americans are experiencing improved health, strength, and flexibility from its practice (The Health Benefits of Yoga, 2012). Nevertheless, is yoga everything it promises? Are people healthier physically and mentally? Are there dangers to practicing yoga? Is it safe? (Bee, 2012) Research suggests that yoga is a highly therapeutic means of exercise because it provides beneficial physical results, leads to positive psychological effects and poses few risks. Physical Benefits of Yoga Yoga bestows several physical health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, lowering heart rate, decreasing blood glucose levels, and mitigating the effects of stress. Cade’s study found that adding yoga reduced resting blood pressure by 4 points compared with the control group (Cade, et al., 2010). McCaffrey and Hatthakit’s study found systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as heart rate all significantly declined over an 8-week yoga intervention (McCaffrey & Hatthakit, 2005). Hedge’s study shows the patients who received yoga classes showed significant reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI), better glycemic control, and lower stress indicators and increases in anti-oxidants (Hedge, et al., 2011). Ross and Thomas’ review

examined other studies and found yoga interventions to be equal or superior to other forms of exercise in all health indicators except in…...

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