Does Yoga Work? Answers from Science

I’m a scientist. I’m also a yogi. 

I’ve heard instructors claim that I can “wring the toxins” out of my organs with a twisting pose, or that baddha konasana/cobbler pose will relieve the pain of PMT. 

I’ve read articles online that give me a sequence of essential yoga poses for runners and help alleviate everything from depression to high blood pressure. The covers of various magazines tell me that if I just do “these 5 poses” or this type of meditation, my menopause will be symptom-free, or my sex-life will improve.

I began to wonder if these claims were actually true! 

Why This Book?

As yoga enters a new era of acceptance as an essential method of self-care and support for our healthcare institutions, Mary’s book comes at a perfect time”

Tiffany Cruickshank

These days it seems everyone is doing yoga. Indeed it is estimated that anything from 500 million to 2 billion people practise regularly worldwide, and that number is growing rapidly.

Most people come to yoga for its health and wellness benefits, both mental and physical, but is there actually any basis for the claims that yoga can help or heal a whole gamut of ills, from anxiety and depression to dysmenorrhea and infertility? On the other side of the coin, is the yoga ‘boom’ associated with injuries, or other harms? 

Being a researcher, as well as a yoga practitioner and having gained so much from my own practice, I decided the best way to find out was to trawl through the thousands of scientific papers, articles reviews and analyses now published, to find out if yoga really does work.

What I found out is presented in this book, in, I hope, a readable and accessible form, which nevertheless reflects, at least partly, the enormous volume and depth of scientific work which has been done on the topic over the last few decades.

Meet real people who have experienced the benefits of yoga – from a professional dive instructor who found his air lasted longer after taking up ashtanga, to a woman who found the confidence to wear feminine clothes again after her mastectomy.

The Science is in! And it’s good news!!

Yoga practice really does have amazing, and often unexpected benefits. And those benefits aren’t just to the individual, but to the community and to society in general.

See our blog for a sample of the science, and “share your stories” for testimonials from real people, like you, who have found how very well yoga works!

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