Yoga's Mental Benefits? Maybe None
But new study does show it can help you physically
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 9:22 AM CDT
Yoga may not actually provide mental benefits, a new study shows.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Bad news for those of you who assumed yoga was curing all that ails you: A new study found no evidence that yoga's mental effects benefit the body. The good news is that yoga does help to relieve lower back pain, the Wall Street Journal reports. However, stretching was found to be equally as effective as yoga at easing the pain—indicating that yoga’s mental component plays no role.

The study, thought to be the largest of its kind, followed 228 adults with chronic low back pain not attributable to any specific cause. Subjects were divided into three groups: One group took a yoga class, one group a stretching class, and the final group was given instructions for self-care. Those in the self-care group were less likely to complete the exercises or spend as much time on them. About 50% of those in the two classes said their back pain felt much improved or completely better, compared to around 20% of those practicing self-care. (And in other exercise-related news, spinning gets less sweaty...)

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Truth777
Oct 30, 2011 11:02 PM CDT
Yoga is based on Satanic principles. Stay away from it! In addition, please remember the following: There is no distinction between white and black magic. When magic works, it is always the work of the Devil. (Father Gabriele Amorth)
fractal
Oct 26, 2011 12:53 PM CDT
Most American Yoga classes teach the physical part of yoga, but water down the meditation aspect of it, because we are too crass and shallow to be interested. A better way to measure would be to follow people who actually meditate regularly for years. And the yoga/meditation is only going to work as well as the time you put into it. Most people go to yoga class, but do not practice any aspect of it faithfully at home.
bewilderbeast
Oct 26, 2011 7:36 AM CDT
They're saying BS doesn't work?! Gasp! It took until the year 2011 for us to work that out? Next thing they'll be telling us acupuncture is just needles and homeopathy is just water - Oh wait, we know that already.