Is Yoga Really That Good For You?

Is Yoga Really That Good For You?

I’ve always sucked at yoga, I have like
zero balance, but maybe I should give it another try. Hey guys Julia here for DNews Over 20 Million Americans practice yoga. I’m
pretty sure most of that’s just in the Bay Area. That figure comes from a study published in
Yoga Journal. According to their survey the top reasons for starting yoga were: flexibility,
general conditioning, stress relief, and to improve overall health and physical fitness. Yoga is deeply rooted in Hindu tradition,
where a series of postures and breathing exercises prepares the body for meditation and connecting
with the divine. There’s a lot more to yoga than striking a few poses. Traditional yoga
is a whole spiritual practice with 8 parts including a code of ethical standards and
studying scriptures. Only one of those parts, asana, involves poses.
Not surprisingly, yoga has been stripped down and repackaged to Americans as a form of exercise.
But apart from the cultural appropriation, Yoga is actually pretty good for you. Let’s
look at what the science says. Chronic pain can reduce or change grey matter
in the brain which can lead to some serious problems like memory and emotional issues.
But according to an official at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), practicing yoga
has the opposite effect on the brain. So what does the brain look like on Yoga? Well study after study reportedly heralds
the benefits of Yoga. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine found that the
postures from Yoga actually increases the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA
in the brain. GABA, a neurotransmitter, calms the nervous system and regulates muscle tone.
In one study the researchers found that after just one hour of Yoga, practitioners GABA
levels increased by 27%. This increase in GABA levels could be responsible
for decreasing anxiety and improving mood in those who practice yoga. Another small study published in the Journal
of Physical Activity and Health found that after short, 20 minute sessions of Hatha yoga
participants performed better on tests of brain function. They could focus better, process
information faster, and even learn more effectively than after a typical aerobic exercise like
running on a treadmill. The researchers think that by focusing on the body, posture or breath,
you push out any distracting thoughts and or reduce some stress, both of which could
increase cognitive function. But it’s not just your brain that gets a
boost. Researchers from the US and the Netherlands
found that yoga could help those with cardiovascular disease. Published in the European Journal
of Preventive Cardiology, the researchers reviewed 37 different studies. They found
that yoga improves risk factors for heart disease similar to the effects of typical
exercise. Some studies showed that it lowered body weight, cholesterol and heart rate. Other
researchers think yoga can ease pain by enhancing both the toning of muscles and releasing of
muscle tension. Even sufferers of Multiple sclerosis, or MS,
a potentially debilitating autoimmune disease, that affects the brain and central nervous
system found some relief from yoga. Researchers from Rutgers University conducted a small
trial where MS patients participated in a 8 week long specialized yoga program. After
completing the program patients had better mental health, concentration, bladder control,
walking, and vision, with a decrease in pain and fatigue. There’s other studies that show it could
reduce inflammation, help with hypertension or those who live with pain from fibromyalgia
or arthritis. Just know there’s a lot of research happening within the past five years
and a lot of it’s positive. Speaking of questionably trendy healthy fads…
what’s the deal with kale? If you’re craving some kale.. watch this episode first… Have you ever tried yoga? I did for a few
months. I have like no balance, so the instructor would call me out and tell me to go use the
wall. So yeah. Tell us your stories down in the comments below.

About the author


  1. 11 months ago I could hardly run 300m. After doing 6 surya namaskars daily for 11 months, I can now run 3km without losing my breath. So, yeah #YogaIsCool  !!!

  2. *The 'trendy' Yoga at health clubs is hardly 'yoga'! Where the most important part; which is the meditating aspect is all but forgotten except for the caveat 'corpse' pose at the end.

    @ :35 thank you for mentioning this; because a vast majority of those who practice, don't really understand what it is all about. What they think of as "Yoga" was just the asanas put together as a routine apprx 50 yrs ago for the general public.

    Actual yoga has been mostly forgotten and is far deeper than these hipsters will ever venture. In fact, it isn't even recognizable from the original form. Kind of like going to Mcdonalds to have a Chateau Bria.

  3. 1:30 does that increase in GABA, stem from activating endogenous opiods? does regular yoga cause Glutamate to up-regulate, to counteract GABA levels?

  4. Yoga is a must do… and one more info, June 21st is the official "World Yoga Day" , as proposed by United Nations.

  5. Hi, I have a few questions regarding this video. Is this about the real Yoga or does this include the western stripped down versions that's mainly about doing poses? Does it have to include meditation afterwards? Some of the forms of Yoga we can find seem like they've been changed up so much, it seems like it's just stretching to me. So I'm curious.

  6. Yoga is Hindu just the way gravity is Christian. Just because the law of gravity was propounded by Isaac Newton, who lived in a Christian culture, does it make gravity Christian? Yoga is a technology. Anybody who is willing to make use of it can make use of it. It is ridiculous to even think that there could be a religious thing to yoga.

  7. I've finally gotten used to yoga and blanking my mind out when doing it. It's much more relaxing now as opposed to a couple weeks ago, when I was literally screaming during some of the more painful positions.

  8. Thumbs down for seriously using the term "cultural appropriation" when referring to cultural exchange. Please dont't turn into SJWs, this channel is supposed to be intelligent.

  9. I still think Yoga is BS, it has a placebo effect just like sugar pills, the brain tricks itself and hence you get these positive results. maybe the only effect would be the relaxing and unwinding of the muscles, and you get the same effect from stretching.

  10. I began doing yoga uhmmm, I'd say about 3 months ago and I cannot believe the (positive) difference it has made in my life and my body!!! I'm absolutely in love with yoga and I do it at LEAST once a day!!! My opinion, I suggest trying it at least one time if you haven't yet! 😊😊😊

  11. Real Yoga is more than stretching. Western consumerism has helped tarnish what REAL yoga has to offer. It's meant to be a spiritual experience, not just stretching.

  12. I do yoga everyday, at my apartment or the park; I don't agree with the idea of paying over a $100 a month to learn something you can do on your own.

    Don't over pay, buy some books on yoga, and be your own teacher.

    Or if you must go to a group, do one at a park that's donation based; yoga studios are not cool.

  13. well I am not against you or your thoughts but I would like to tell you its "YOG" not "YOGA"
    please if you are copying  from some ones religion try to copy it the right way

  14. I love yoga. I started doing it by myself and watching yoga videos on YouTube. Much less stressful than the class room setting, and its that chance in the day to relax and reconnect with myself before setting out for the day.

  15. On the one hand, its sucky that people practice this form of exercise with not really understanding where it comes. At the same time, its cool how this has evolved by striping away the things that are (technically) unnecessary. Like Bruce Lee said "Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

  16. After seeing this.. I am feeling so proud of our ancestor(I mean Hindus) who developed this science… Hinduism is just so scientific… Feeling proud to be born as a Hindu… 🙂

  17. I effin love yoga. Thank you for validating my love for yoga with science. 🙂 Speaking of which, has anyone done any studies about pets bugging you while you're doing yoga? Seriously, my cat could be on the opposite side of the apartment asleep, but the second I begin yoga he comes right up and lays right down underneath me purring on my mat. I've seen tons of compilation videos of pets bugging people doing yoga so I know I'm not the only one. Is there anything to this or just strange coincidence?

  18. You practice yoga, to improve balance and flexibility. That's why it's called, practice. Yoga instructors don't call people out to make them feel bad, or to call everyone's attention to an aspect you don't do well in… It's to help you improve, and possibly avoid injury. A lot of ego in a statement like this woman made.

  19. Compared to sprinting, and weightlifting, yoga is basically pointless unless you are doing it to relieve stress or gain flexibility (which can be dangerous) I also don't like how it is a spiritual thing

  20. It is really bad that your instructor would call you out in class. When I teach, I never single anyone out. The most I might do is offer suggestions in general to the class as if it is a good idea for anyone – never draw attention to a student. And if your balance is not great, so what? I tell students, if you fall out of it, just laugh a little (it's no big deal) and try working back into the pose. You'll get it eventually. It's a "practice" not a "perfect"!


    If 20 Million or 50 Million Practice YOGA –ALL THOSE 20 to 50 Million people belong to "YOGA RELIGION ".

  22. YOGA has NOTHING to Do with => Flexibility –Physical Fitness –Diet & Fitness .

    If YOGA improves General Condition –Stress Relief -Improve Health –the SPIRITUAL ASPECTS of YOGA RELIGION bring about those DESIRABLE CHANGES

  23. Lol, so fucking yoga can increase your intelligence as well? How the fuck did the ancient Hindus know about this shit?

  24. I would blame your teacher for your lack of balance. You shouldn't be "called out" to use the wall, there are props like blocks and blankets that help you adjust. Also, a good teacher should offer multiple variations for poses so the class is multi-level. Don't go into a pose you're not comfortable in. Yin and gentle flow are best for beginners, and then I recommend Hatha Vinyasa.

  25. This video about yoga is better than I had expected it to be.  It actually brushed into the science of ancient Hindu philosophy, and recognized that what 'yoga' is practiced in the western culture is a much watered down version of its true purpose.

  26. My aunt taught me yoga when I was three because I had argued with my mom and instead of punishing me my aunt thought yoga would help. Needless to say she was right I've been doing yoga ever since and am working to get my yoga license so I can teach others

  27. Yoga is beyond science and it being practicing more than 1000 yrs ago.
    It's only have only positive results .
    If you get negative results only because your wrong action or posture.
    Yoga make your brain 100% relax and increase your reflex .
    If you are doing wrong you get wrong .
    If you are thinking wrong you get wrong.
    Morning time is best for yoga.

  28. Excellent e,encouraging mankind for realization of the meaningful healthy,happy,peaceful life with positive mind love you dear for such inspirational talk


  30. Your right on some things . Most Western countries focus on the more physical aspects of yoga , it's showy and what people expect yoga to be. The truth is that 90% of yoga is about breathing exercises and meditation and attaining a higher level of consciousness .

    You can get lots of benefits from just breathing exercises ( Pranayama ) and meditation if you can't do the more physical stuff . By the standards of modern Western Yoga teachings one would think that a person in a wheel chair could not do or benefit from yoga nothing could be further from the truth . Hatha yoga is a good place to start . Statistically speaking there is no evidence that Yoga practitioners live longer . A survey I did on many Indian Swami showed that they did not live longer lives on average . But they did live healthier lives and were physically more agile and mentally sharper in their older life so quality of life was improved but not average longevity . Yoga should be practiced in combination to regular short work outs that increase cardio vascular fitness . I would have grave doubts about the brain science , how something effects a persons brain can be a very personnel thing . People who genuinely believe a yoga posture helps them in some way will react differently to another person with different perceptions . Exercise in general could also show similar results .

  31. I don't believe Yoga is cultural appropriation. It's not originally Hindu either. It's believed it started as movement rebelling against the modern movements at the time of people polluting the earth, breeding animals for food and trying to be above nature so they went away from cities and searched for a life of harmony. Union= Yoga. A state not a doing. It spread to multiple eastern religions, not just Hinduism. There are no set boundaries to Yoga with the body. There are different physical yoga styles but anyone could make a new style if it applies to creating harmony in the body and focuses on the breath and thoughts.

  32. Good grief. It's not Asaana! It is Aasana!! Young lady, do some research on what Yoga is all about. The Yoga Sutras (pronounced soothras) of Patanjali go into the spiritual practice of Yoga. One of the eight limbs of that practice, which is Aasana, has nothing to do with the Yoga poses taught in Yoga classes! It just means to sit comfortably when you meditate, that's all! (sit on your ass in comfort, is what it says) 🙂 I'm not kidding; the British word "arse" from which "ass" is derived, is linked to the Sanskrit word Aasana which means seat. For instance, Simhasana means "lion's seat," or throne (of a King).
    Finally, if your balance is bad, find a yoga teacher who can genuinely help you instead of banishing you to a wall! I'm 71, started Yoga again after a lapse of 30 years, and have found in just 2 months that my balance is so much better. This is crucial as we get older, as FALLS are very dangerous for senior citizens. A fall can mean a broken hip or a fractured skull so any practice that can prevent falls is of great value.

  33. I get it, the girl is a "quitter" and she dares to talk about yoga? Go back to yoga classes and shut up ! …………..What?

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