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A Little Yoga Can Go A Long Way for Mental and Physical Health

By Dr. Kyle Hoedebecke | Posted May 11, 2023

The body has an amazing intrinsic ability to maintain a healthy state and when necessary, heal itself. Society frequently overlooks this fact and too often reaches for a “quick fix” in the form of an injection, surgery, or pill. 

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As a physician, my training emphasized prescribing new pharmaceuticals for chronic illnesses rather than promoting lifestyle changes for similar results. I felt that loading patients up with countless pills could not be the best way to treat my patients – so I searched for ways to reduce and minimize the large quantities of medications my patients were taking for chronic conditions. That is how I was randomly introduced to the health benefits of yoga.

I hadn’t had much exposure to yoga or its advantages. However, I gained interest and wanted to see if there were any tangible benefits offered. I did a deep dive into this subject matter between 2014 and 2016 with expert yoga instructor Melissa Aguirre.

Evidence shows that just fifteen minutes of daily yoga can boost wellness.

We eventually combined all that we learned and co-authored the book The Innate Design. Through our research, we broke down the different chakras, or energy foci within the body, and looked for medical benefits. We also found explanations as to why these specific points were so important to our wellbeing. We found that many chakra points align with major organ systems that play integral parts in optimizing our bodies health and wellness. For example, the Throat Chakra is co-located with the thyroid and parathyroid glands that play major roles in the areas of weight control, energy levels, sexual health, and pain modulation.

Furthermore, medical research supports the link between practicing yoga and wellness. Some areas of improvement can be seen with improved balance. This proves important in order to optimize coordination while simultaneously reducing falls and associated fractures.  Even more impressive, yoga is linked to greater heart health. This comes through several linked benefits. First, yoga reduces the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. Those who partake in this activity also have improved glucose and cholesterol levels. There is even an association with reduced episodes of a dangerous abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation in those who suffer from this condition.

I don’t pretend that practicing yoga will cure every ailment or replace modern medicine. However, the evidence shows that even fifteen minutes of yoga a day can boost wellness in countless ways.  I highly recommend that any person with a chronic medical condition use yoga to empower themselves to take better control of their own health and wellness.