Title

Yoga for Preventive Health: A Holistic Approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2022

Journal

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine

DOI

10.1177/15598276211059758

Keywords

exercise; holistic health; inflammation; meditation; mental health; neurohormones; optimal health; preventative health; yoga

Abstract

Yoga has been prevalent for over 5000 years; it originated in India and has become an essential lifestyle ingredient for achieving optimal health. The goal of this article in lifestyle modification is to increase awareness about the benefits of yoga and how its practice can reduce the overall risk of chronic diseases. Yoga has been proven to be therapeutic for enhancing immunity and support management of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine disorders, obesity, cancer, and metabolic syndrome. Yoga techniques called asanas, such as pranayama for breathing regulation and dhyana for meditation, boost innate immune response, interrupt inflammation, and thereby prevent the manifestation of chronic diseases. Yoga also provides symptomatic relief for chronic arthritis by increasing joint flexibility and microcirculation. Yoga and meditation regulate neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, hormones, and cytokines that mediate interactions between the central nervous system and the immune system. These techniques reduce the psychological and physiological effects of chronic stress. Serotonin, oxytocin, and melatonin released directly due to practicing yoga have been shown to better manage anxiety and fear, especially during the pandemic. We believe the current trends of chronic disease management will become more effective with the implementation of lifestyle changes using yoga.

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