The Effects of Hatha Yoga on Inflammation

In this new study, the effects of an 8-week hatha yoga series on metabolic and inflammatory markers in females were extensively explored.

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I know it is the weekend but thinking about inflammation is important on every day of the week...and here at the Minded Institute we love to think about how yoga can ameliorate inflammatory markers within the body :)

Inflammation is at the root of numerous health conditions, not least arthritis, heart disease, Chron's, diabetes, thyroid issues and cancer to name just a few. The presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to us. Inflammation can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant. It really is a very big deal.

In this new study, the effects of an 8-week hatha yoga series on metabolic and inflammatory markers in females were extensively explored. 30 female Chinese subjects were recruited and randomised into the control or the yoga practice group. Participants in the yoga group were then asked to attend supervised hatha yoga sessions 2 times per week over the 8 weeks of the study. Each class had a total of 60 minutes with 32 minutes spent in active poses. Subjects were also instructed to maintain their usual physical activity and dietary habits for the duration of the study.

The main findings of the present study were that 8 weeks of hatha yoga practice in healthy Chinese female subjects reduced plasma insulin, cholesterol levels, and Endothelial microparticle (EMP) levels (which are are complex vesicular structures shed from endothelial cells in response to stimuli such as inflammatory activations); and that cultured whole blood from yoga practice group had reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines secretion. Researchers concluded that their findings suggest that yoga practice may reduce the inflammatory status at the whole blood culture level. These are very exciting findings indeed! Namaste.

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS