Yoga Supports A Healthy, Happy Heart, Study Finds

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”  - Nelson Mandela

It turns out your heart loves yoga as much as you do.

The first yoga study ever published by the prestigious American College of Cardiology shows undeniable evidence that a regular yoga practice can do wonders for strengthening your heart, reducing anxiety, and providing an improved quality of life for people suffering from heart disease.

Forty-nine patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation who had no physical limitations were monitored for a three-month control period, during which time they went about their regular routines and treatments. After the baseline period, study participants began their 'treatment"': A twice-weekly Iyengar yoga practice, including pranayama, asanas, and meditation, was integrated into their schedules for three months. An educational DVD and an encouraging check-up weekly phone call kept the participants motivated to keep up the practice as much as they felt comfortable.

The findings were encouraging: the yoga intervention significantly reduced the number of episodes of irregular heart beat among atrial fibrillation patients during the study phase compared to the control phase, where subjects were participating in a physical activity of their choice. Yoga was also shown to reduce depression and anxiety, and improved quality of life in physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, and mental health.

Yoga is the perfect complementary therapy because of its simplicity and effectiveness. It’s an easy exercise for most people to pick up, and you can practice almost anywhere as long as you can find some space on the ground.

It is true that yoga improves symptoms of anxiety and depression because of changes like lowered blood pressure and reducing heart rate, but the study also highlithed the inspiring importance of the yoga community.

According to the published study, “The benefit from the emotionally supportive atmosphere at yoga training centers, and the positive impact by the caring relationships, change in diet and lifestyle modification associated with yoga practice on physiological parameters cannot be underestimated."

The study authors also emphasized the widespread accessibility of a therapy as potentially effective as yoga. The research findings emphasize the value of a low-cost, non-invasive therapy such as yoga to complement the more expensive and sometimes riskier conventional treatments for improving atrial filibration patient care.

The final conclusion? Your local yoga studio is an effective alternative therapy that can help you live a long happy life, while enjoying the support of a strong community. Sounds like the ideal place to let your heart grow strong.