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50 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

50 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

1. Yoga is more effective than relaxation in reducing high blood pressure- Yoga is more effective than relaxation in reducing high blood pressure according to Lancet study in 1975. This is the first-ever randomized trial on yoga.

2. It can help in bronchial asthma- It can be helpful in asthma according to British Medical Journal in 1985. This is the first randomized trial on yoga for asthma that shows the effects of yoga on inner organs.

3. Meditation decreases the depression- A study conducted by the University of California concluded that mindfulness meditation decreases ruminative thinking and dysfunctional beliefs. Study shows that depression, anxiety and stress can be reduce through meditation.

4. Reduce depression in mothers to be- A University of Michigan Health System pilot feasibility study shows that it can reduce the depressive symptoms in high-risk pregnant women.

5. Meditation regulate mood and anxiety disorders- More than 20 randomized controlled studies by PubMed, Cochrane Databases and PsycInfo concludes that meditation can treat anxiety disorder. These studies also include the techniques of meditation, yoga, meditative prayer and relaxation response.

6. Yoga benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome- A study organized by JAMA in 1998 shows that yoga is very beneficial for carpal tunnel syndrome compared with wrist splinting and no intervention. This is a well-regarded randomized trial on yoga.

7. Yoga for chronic lower back pain- A study by Annals of Internal Medicine is the first really high-quality trial on yoga for lower back pain in 2005. It concludes that yoga is a very effective treatment for chronic lower back pain. 

8. Meditation helps to reduces stress and anxiety in general- According to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison, the practice of meditation reduces the grey-matter density thoughts in areas of the brain related with anxiety and stress.

9. Meditation reduces the symptoms of panic disorder- American Journal of Psychiatry published a research that shows that for the 20 out of 22 patients the effects of panic and anxiety had reduced substantially.

10. Meditation improve the concentration in the brain- An experiment of a group of Harvard neuroscientists on 16 people shows that meditation increase the grey matter concentration in areas of the brain involved in regulating emotions, learning and memory and sense of self.

11. Yoga helps in life-threatening diseases- A study of Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2013 shows the positive effect of yoga on arrhythmia burden and life-threatening diseases such as atrial fibrillation.

12. Meditation improve your performance and ability to work in stress- A study concludes that 20 minutes a day practice of meditation improve the performance on tests of cognitive skill and information-processing tasks that were designed to induce deadline stress. Sometimes this performance was 10 times better than others.

13. Meditation improves decision-making- UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging's assistant professor Eileen Luders found that people with long-term meditation have larger amounts of gyrification that is responsible for making the brain better at attention, decision-making and forming memories.

14. It gives you resilience and emotional intelligence- Meditation increases the resilience and emotional intelligence according to the book Wise Mind, Open Mind by PhD psychotherapist Dr. Ron Alexander.

15. Yoga can increase flexibility- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2013 shows that practice of bikram yoga can improve flexibility and strength but not aerobic capacity.

16. Meditation can make you stronger against pain- University of Montreal did a research on 13 Zen masters and 13 comparable non-practitioners. The research group of University of Montreal gives them equal painful heat and measuring their brain activity. They found that Zen masters reported less pain.

17. Yoga can help women with breast cancer- A study by Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2014 demonstrated that yoga can have benefits for women being treated for breast cancer. This was a high quality and controlled trial of yoga in women with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy.

18. Meditation improves psychomotor vigilance and decrease sleep need- A research by the University of Kentucky on four conditions: Nap (N), Control (C), Meditation (M) and Sleep Deprivation plus Meditation. This experiment shows that meditation can improve psychomotor vigilance and decrease sleep need.

19. Meditation enhance the ability to generate gamma waves in the brain- A study by the neuroscientist Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin and Tibetan Buddhist monks showed that long-term meditators have a slight increase in gamma activity in the brain.

20. Yoga can reduce inflammation- A review of the evidence on yoga in 2015 showed that yoga and other mind-body activities can reduce inflammation.

21. Meditation reduces alcohol and substance abuse- Three studies showed that it can help reduce alcohol and substance abuse.

22. It helps manage psoriasis- It can increase the resolution of psoriatic lesions in psoriasis patients through stress reduction intervention delivered by audiotape during ultraviolet light therapy with meditation. This showed NCBI.

23. You can live longer with meditation- A inconclusive research's data suggest that some forms of meditation may have salutary effects on telomere length through stress reduction and improvement in positive thoughts. Telomere is a part cells that affect how our cells age.

24. It can manage the heart rate and respiratory rate- A study by Korean Association of Genuine Traditional Medicine showed that 8 months period of meditation training can decrease the heart rate and respiratory rate. The Korean Association of Genuine Traditional Medicine is the practitioners of “Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique".

25. It helps the Fibromyalgia patient- A PubMed study showed the significant improvement in the overall health status of the Fibromyalgia patients. 11 Fibromyalgia patients have participated in this research. They underwent an 8-week mindfulness training and reported improvement in “felt good” and “missed work” because of Fibromyalgia.

26. It reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and premature death- A study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity states that it can reduces the sense of loneliness, depression and Alzheimer’s and premature death.

27. It can treat premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms- 20 randomized control studies in PubMed, the Cochrane Databases and PsycInfo concludes that it can treat premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms.

28. It can prevent rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease- There are two groups in a study by neuroscientists of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. First group received mindfulness training and second group received nutritional education, exercise and music therapy. The study concluded that the first group was more effective in relieving inflammatory symptoms than second.

29. It decreases inflammatory disorders- A study at UW-Madison Waisman Centre concluded that meditation produces a range of genetic and molecular effects on the participants and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes. This helps in faster recovery from a stressful situation.

30. It affects genes- Harvard Medical School's study shows that yoga and meditation affects genes that control stress and immunity of the body.

31. It reduces risk of heart diseases and stroke- A research performed in late 2012 over 200 high-risk individuals. They asked to either take a better diet, health education class and exercise or take a class on meditation. During next 5 years the research concluded that people with meditation had a 48% reduction in their overall risk of stroke, heart attack and death.

32. Meditation for loving-kindness improves empathy and positive relationships- In a loving-kindness meditation you focus on developing a sense of benevolence and care towards all living beings around us. A study by Emory University says that it can effectively boost your ability to empathize with others by way of reading their facial expressions and the positive thoughts help you to develop several personal resources like loving attitude towards others.

33. It reduces emotional eating- Some scientists thinks that it help you to manage emotional eating, which prevents obesity.

34. Meditation for loving-kindness reduces social isolation- A American Psychological Association's study concludes that loving-kindness meditation improves your feelings of social connection and positivity toward novel individuals on both levels, implicit and explicit.

35. It keeps focus in spite of distractions- A Emory University's study states that people with more meditation feels the more connectivity within the brain networks controlling attention results in developed cognitive skills such as maintaining disengaging and attention from distraction.

36. A mindfulness meditation decreases the feelings of loneliness- A Carnegie Mellon University's study showed that it is useful in decreasing feelings of loneliness that helps in decreasing the risk for morbidity and mortality.

37. It improves your psychological well-being- A Nottingham Trent University's found that it helps people to improve psychological well-being who having the issues of stress and low mood.

38. It improves your working memory- A research showed that a mindfulness meditation can improve the working memory and executive functioning.

39. A mindfulness meditation fosters creativity- A Leiden University's study showed that a mindfulness meditation has positive effects in creativity and divergent thinking.

40. It increases the feelings of compassion and decreases worry- A compassion cultivation training (CCT) training for 9-week showed the improvement in all three levels of compassion - self-compassion, compassion from others and compassion for others. It also decreases the level of emotional suppression and worry.

41. It also helps manage ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - A MBCT (Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) applied to a group of 50 people concludes reduced hyperactivity and impulsivity. It also increases the awareness skill and improvement in inattention symptoms.

42. A mindfulness meditation improves your rapid memory recall- Many research like Catherine Kerr of the Martinos's research showed that mindfulness meditation improves rapid memory recall and numerous mental abilities.

43. It relieves pain better than morphine- A Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre's experiment on 15 people states the less brain activity during pain through heat. In the experiment a equal heat applied to these people before and after the meditation and examine their brain activity using ASL MRI and notice less pain intensity and pain unpleasantness.

44. It improves learning and self-awareness- An article published in NCBI showed that a long term meditation improves the brain area associated with self-awareness, compassion and learning.

45. It increases awareness of unconscious mind- University of Sussex's researchers concludes that people with mindfulness meditation experience a greater pause between unconscious impulses and action.

46. It helps us allocate limited resources of brain - In an experiment of University of California concludes that people with three months of meditation training have a better control over the distribution of their attention, less allocation of brain-resource and perception resources.

47. It helps you to deal with stressful events better- A study of All India Institute of Medical Sciences showed that the adverse effects of stress were lessened if meditation is practiced before a stressful event.

48. It also prevents you from falling in the trap of multitasking- A study of University of Washington and University of Arizona reported that people after 8 weeks of meditation training have lower levels of stress and they also showed better memory for the tasks they had performed. They also remained focused on tasks longer.

49. It makes you able to affect the reality around us, in a quantum level- An article published in Collective Evolution showed that people with meditation collapsing quantum system at a distance.

50. Health benefits of Meditation- There are several health benefits of transcendental meditation according to an abundance of studies. Some of health benefits are:
* It reduce myocardial ischemia (American Journal of Cardiology- May 1996)
* It reduce atherosclerosis (American Journal of Cardiology- April 2002)
* It low blood pressure in at-risk teens (American Journal of Hypertension- April 2004 and DoctorsOnTM)
* It extended longevity (American Journal of Cardiology- May 2005) etc.

Yoga and meditation can keep you healthy, improve your immune system to prevent many diseases, make you happier and improve your physical and mental performance.

Jiten is yoga professional at a yoga school in India, Sattva Yoga Academy. He loves to yoga, meditation and writing for spirituality, wellness, yoga and meditation. Find him on Facebook or Twitter.

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