Yoga Really Is Good for You
It reduces inflammation, asthma, depression: study
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2010 2:56 PM CDT
In this photograph taken by AP Images for Brita, FilterForGood and trainer Bob Harper hosted a private yoga session, Wednesday, March 31, 2010, in New York.   (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Brita)

(Newser) – It goes without saying that yoga can help you calm down—but it turns out it can do much more than that. A new study shows that women who practiced yoga regularly for two years or more had less inflammation in their bodies, LiveScience reports. That could in turn lead to fewer instances of asthma, cardiovascular disease, and depression, since high levels of inflammation play a role in those and other health conditions.

The study exposed yoga experts and yoga novices to stressful situations that would normally lead to an increase in inflammation—for example, dipping their feet in cold water. The experts fared better, suggesting that regular practice is key. Experts theorize this may be because of yoga’s focus on deep, controlled breathing and meditation, both of which can help us better react to stress.