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Natural Awakenings National

Yoga Boosts Heart Health: Build Up Your Resistance to Stress

Research published in the journal International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics supports a direct link between the regular practice of yoga?with its breathing exercises, stretching, poses, relaxation and meditation?and heart health.

The researchers point to yoga’s impact on the nervous system, which regulates heart rate through the sympathetic nervous system that causes the heart rate to rise, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows it down. When the two systems work well together, they ensure that the heart rate is steady, yet ready to respond to external changes if needed, such as the fight or flight response.

The study of 84 volunteers showed that regular yoga practitioners have a stronger, more flexible parasympathetic control, which helps them ease out of stressful situations more easily. The researchers concluded that this translates into the desirable higher heart rate variability, more resistance to stress and an overall healthier heart.


Source: Inderscience Publishers, 2009

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