There are millions of individuals out there who take the practice of yoga as a form of relaxation or to simply maintain their fitness. In fact, there are many yogis who are not even aware of the full benefits that yoga has to offer them. Throughout the years, there has been quite a lot of research on the various benefits associated with yoga. Although there have been some really encouraging results, there are still uncertainties surrounding yoga to be used as a form of medication.
For nine-year-old Aaron Schaefer, he has spent years trying to combat debilitating migraines caused by stress. When he started to take up yoga class, his headaches managed to subside. “When I started taking [the class], it was like a cure from heaven,” he stated. Currently, a group of researchers at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, United States are trying to learn more and figure out if a program that combines yoga along with other therapies can help with children’s mental and physical health. “It calms you down. It relaxes your body. It lowers your heart rate. It lowers your respiration and in general it reduces the effects of stress on your body,” explained Murali Doraiswamy, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Duke Medicine.
Dr. Doraiswamy also mentioned that such relaxation responses can assist with mild depression and sleep disorders. At the same time, yoga could possibly offer additional benefits for individuals suffering from schizophrenia and ADHD when the practice is combined with standard drugs. “The benefits were of the same magnitude of the benefits we see with psychiatric medications,” he said. Based on previous studies, it was proven that yoga-based techniques can aid individuals to cope with anxiety, stress, and poor mood. Currently, these researchers are studying to see if these methods can be adapted for children and teens too. “Often times [children] don’t fully understand that kind of awareness of body and the awareness of how their thoughts and emotions can be tied in with how they’re feeling physically,” explained Anava Wren, Doctoral Candidate in Clinical psychology at Duke University.
Researchers hope that their findings will eventually pay off by spurring government agencies to fund larger national studies, so that they can confirm their initial results as well as make yoga a standard treatment option for mental conditions. According to them, evidence is still preliminary. Therefore, people should still consult with their doctors if they are concerned about a mental health condition. For more of the story, you can check it here.
OMG Yoga offers a variety of yoga classes in Singapore. If you are looking for yoga classes for yourself, your child or your entire family, we would be more than happy to assist you. Do refer to our website for more details.