Health & Wellness

4 Yoga Poses for Common Health Conditions

Ah, yoga! It’s commonly known for helping to calm anxiety and calm stress. But did you know that you can do certain yoga poses to get specific health benefits?

It’s true—and believe it or not, they’re incredibly effective! The best part is they don’t have be overly complicated or difficult poses. There are some simple yoga poses are actually great for your health!

Let’s take a look at how yoga benefits your overall health and then review four easy yoga poses that will provide some relief to very common concerns.

 

Yoga and Your Health

Before we dive into the best yoga poses for common concerns, let’s first review why yoga is so beneficial for your overall health.

As we’ve discussed before, I feel the greatest health benefit of yoga is its ability to relieve stress. And research has shown this to be true.

According to a 2018 study of 52 middle-aged women, completing just 12 sessions of yoga significantly decreased their levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. [1]

These benefits are due to the fact that yoga helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. [2]

As you may recall, there are two parts to the nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is the part that helps your body to slow down and relax.

From helping to improve sleep, respiratory, and heart health to boosting flexibility, muscular strength, and mental health and relieving stress, yoga can support your health in many ways. [34]

In fact, a 2011 review of 35 studies confirmed the many health benefits of yoga. The researchers stated that regularly practicing yoga enhances muscular strength and body flexibility; promotes and even improves both respiratory and cardiovascular function; and reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.

But that’s not all. They also said it promotes feelings of relaxation; improves sleep; and even enhances overall physical and mental well-being and quality of life. [5]

Additionally, numerous studies have shown a link between practicing yoga and weight loss along with weight management. According to a 2013 review, scientists surmised that this could be due to numerous factors, including heightened mindfulness, increased awareness of satiety, and increased energy expenditure, among other benefits. [6]

Another great benefit of yoga is that it helps to improve digestion. In fact, much of the research on yoga poses for digestion has focused on how yoga can help irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Interestingly, studies have shown that yoga therapy led to improvements in primary IBSS digestive symptoms and pain as well as secondary symptoms such as anxiety and mood. [78]

Finally, another benefit of practicing yoga along with meditation is its ability to help slow aging at the cellular level.

According to a 2017 study, participants who practiced both yoga and meditation for 12 weeks saw not only significantly lowered levels of DNA damage, cortisol, and inflammatory markers, but they also experienced significantly increased levels of total antioxidant capacity, and endorphin levels. [9]

Another big win? Their telomeres were longer! As you may recall, research has shown that longer telomeres are linked to longer lifespan, a slower aging process, and lower likelihood of disease.

As you can see, yoga offers some amazing health benefits! So, it’s really no surprise to learn that it can benefit many different health concerns, is it?

So, let’s take a look at some specific yoga poses you can start doing today for common conditions or discomforts. You’re only a few minutes a day from some relief!

The 4 Best Yoga Poses for Common Concerns

Take a look at four of the best yoga poses to do for several common concerns. Once you’ve identified which ones you want to try, based on the specified benefits, click the links below to learn more about how to do them.

 

Yoga poses - Dr. Pingel

 

1. Downward-Facing Dog Pose

When it comes to yoga poses, downward-facing dog is one of the most recognized. It’s good for calming anxiety, fighting back pain and headaches, relieving diarrhea, and helping to lower high blood pressure.

You can get official step-by-step directions here.

2. Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose

Known to help relax both your mind and body, this pose is also great for relieving tension in your lower back. It’s also beneficial for those with pain due to menstruation.

For specific directions along with some helpful tips, check out this how-to article dedicated to this yoga pose.

3. Boat Pose

Of all the yoga poses recommended here, the boat pose is probably the hardest to hold. But the benefits are well worth sticking with it. From supporting digestion to calming stress to benefiting your sleep, kidneys, prostate, and thyroid, the boat pose is a powerful health tool to use.

Click here for details on how to execute this pose, along with a helpful video guide.

4. Standing Forward Bend Pose

Finally, when it comes to the yoga poses I’ve listed, the standing forward bend requires the most flexibility.

The good news is there are several adaptations you can make to this pose to make it easier for you to execute while still getting the benefits it offers, such as helping to relieve anxiety and depression, lowering high blood pressure, supporting digestion, and improving leg weakness.

For step-by-step instructions on how to do a standing forward bend pose, click here. The bonus? This link also includes three adaptations to make the pose a little easier, in case you need to work on your flexibility.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Yoga is commonly known for helping to calm anxiety and calm stress. But did you know that you can do certain yoga poses to get specific health benefits?
  • I feel the greatest health benefit of yoga is its ability to relieve stress. Other benefits include reducing anxiety, supporting digestion and weight management, fighting aging, and more.
  • Four of the best yoga poses that benefit your health by providing relief from common conditions include: downward-facing dog, legs-up-the-wall, boat, and standing forward bend.

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