Yoga for Disease Prevention

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.

~B.K.S. Iyengar

The below statistics are not meant to scare anyone, but do show the importance of prevention. And Yoga is one of the best and safest methods of prevention.

  • Studies show that in 2005 30% of all deaths globally were due to cardiovascular (heart) disease and the rate is increasing.
  • The 2009 World Alzheimer’s Report estimates 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
  • The International Osteoporosis Foundation states 1 in 3 women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) Osteoporosis is second only to cardiovascular disease as a leading health care problem.
  • The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) states 285 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes.

Numerous studies show how yoga can help prevent these diseases:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Yoga improves heart health in both healthy and sick individuals according to a Yale study conducted by Satish Sivasankaran, MD. 1 Yoga helps manage weight, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the heart. All these factors help to reduce risk of heart disease.

  3. Alzheimer’s
  4. A Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and McLean Hospital study show yoga practice can elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels. Low GABA levels are associated with alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety and epilepsy. 4

  5. Osteoporosis
    • A study performed with 18 patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia, average age 68, found yoga to be effective in building bone mineral density. 2
    • It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise help prevent osteoporisis 3 and yoga is a safe, low impact workout to help build bone mass.
  6. Type II Diabetes
    Yoga is not just a great workout and stress remedy, but several studies show the beneficial effects it has on diabetes and diabetes prevention. 

    • London’s Yoga Biomedical Trust found that a 12-week yoga program helped reduce fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin AC1 levels.
    • The University College of Medical Sciences in Delhi, India found through various studies that daily yoga practice can decrease fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin AC1, blood glucose after meals and improve insulin resistance.
    • Finally, a good exercise program helps prevent diabetes. 6 A yoga workout is great because it can be adapted to all levels of fitness and all ages.

1 Yoga Reduces Heart Disease Risk
2 Yoga for Osteoporosis: A Pilot Study
3 National Osteoporosis Foundation – Prevention Exercise for Healthy Bones
4 This is your brain on yoga
5American Diabetes Association: Twisting Without Shouting
Diet And Exercise Prevent Diabetes


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.