What if the simple act of doing yoga could heal your diseased heart?
A new study titled, “Effects of Yoga in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure: A Meta-Analysis,” reveals that this ancient practice, ever-increasing in popularity in the West, has profound benefits to those who are suffering from cardiovascular disease.
Previous to this study, the idea that yoga could heal a diseased heart was considered strictly theoretical, which is what motivated a team of Portuguese researchers to put the concept to the test.
The team performed a meta-analysis of the published research on the topic of how yoga might improve exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure.
Their methodology was described as follows:
“We searched MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Excerpta Medica database, LILACS, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, The Scientific Electronic Library Online, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (from the earliest date available to December 2013) for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the effects of yoga versus exercise and/or of yoga versus control on exercise capacity (peakVO2) and quality-of-life (HRQOL) in Chronic Heart Failure.”
The analysis found two studies that met the selection criteria, which included 30 yoga and 29 control patients.
Their results were reported as follows:
“The results suggested that yoga compared with control had a positive impact on peak VO2 and HRQOL. Peak VO2, WMD (3.87 95% CI: 1.95 to 5.80), and global HRQOL standardized mean differences (-12.46 95% CI: -22.49 to -2.43) improved in the yoga group compared to the control group.”
Their conclusion indicated that Yoga does have significant benefits for cardiovascular patients:
“Yoga enhances peak VO2 and HRQOL in patients with CHF and could be considered for inclusion in cardiac rehabilitation programs.”
They found an impressive 22.0% improvement in VO2 peformance and a 24.1% increase in quality of life.
Yoga Has Many Health Benefits That Science Now Confirms
In a previous article titled, “Modern Science Confirms Yoga’s Many Health Benefits,” we looked at the voluminous data that now exists demonstrating the wide range of health benefits yoga has been proven to produce. You can find the first-hand abstracts demonstrating this fact on our research page: Yoga Health Benefits, with over 70 indexed thus far!
Yoga is, of course, more than a physical exercise, but a method to integrate mind, body and soul. Yoga means, of course, to “unite” or “yoke” the disparate elements of the human experience. When you are engaged fully in yoga, the focus is on being present to one’s breath, which integrates mind and body naturally. Chronic heart failure patients can benefit from the way in which yoga enables the body to integrate into the mind in a way that requires the engagement of the physical and mental aspects of our incarnation, and results ultimately in the relaxation of both deeply.
If you want a simple, quick way to enter into the realm of yogic healing try this practice:
“If I could teach only one yoga exercise—one that had to last you for the rest of your life—it would have to be Sat Kriya.* Why? Because this one exercise contains just about all the benefits of Kundalini Yoga within itself. Sat Kriya is designed to do the one thing from which all well-being springs: raise the kundalini energy.
Here is simple and effective Sat Kriya. It is by no means the last word on Sat Kriya; but beyond words, it works.”
The details are spelled out here.
About the Author: Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com, an author, educator, Steering Committee Member of the Global GMO Free Coalition (GGFC), and an advisory board member of the National Health Federation.