Samprasada has been founded with the goal of uniting traditional Yoga practices together with the most advanced medical knowledge to provide tangible health and wellness improvements for our clients. We are therefore always active in our continuous education as well as following the latest scientific discoveries and research.

Yoga is an ancient practice; it has been associated with cultural, religious and physical activity for more than 2,000 years. Its practitioners have asserted its effect on balancing emotional, physical and spiritual health for decades, but only recently has there been a move to substantiate these claims through research. So far, the result has been definitive, significant evidence of the broad-ranging benefits of yoga, both as a treatment and as a preventative form of medicine and health care. In this technological age, health care paradoxes abound. Computerization, designed to facilitate daily life, carries with it a demand to be externally connected to events at all times. In doing so, paradoxically, we become alienated from reflecting personally upon body, mind and spirit. Use of pharmacological medication can assuage some of our symptoms, but this approach can also mean that we can carry on as normal with our busy lives, reducing our ability to monitor and focus on our personal health and wellbeing.

At a time when technology and drugs dominate the way we live our lives, it is refreshing that yoga not only persists but that researchers are taking the time to explore exactly how this practice can help us. In a climate focusing upon evidence-based medicine, it is important to be able to substantiate clinical claims made for any therapy, and yoga is no exception. We need to know who would benefit from a therapy, contraindications of use and the extent to which specific medical issues that can be ameliorated by a particular therapy.

Recent papers have focused on practicing yoga to reduce essential hypertension and anxiety during pregnancy, its effect on regulating heart rhythm, the connection between yoga and changes in brain wave activity, the improvement of core stability and balance, and relief of post-partum depression. The latest research proved that Yoga and Meditation lengthen the Telomeres length (Telomere shortening is associated with aging, mortality and aging-related diseases. Normal aging is associated with telomere shortening) - therefore changing the very core of our DNA, reversing the aging process (Alda M, Puebla-Guedea M, Rodero B, et al. Zen meditation, Length of Telomeres, and the role of Experimental Avoidance and Compassion Mindfulness (NY) 2016; 7:651-659).

We have selected papers that give us an insight into the health benefits of yoga, reflecting the growing evidence-based research into this practice. It seems apparent that yoga may provide broad ranging healthcare benefits for mind and body. It may be practiced to maintain health, reduce particular symptoms, commonly associated with skeletal pain, and assisting in pain relief and enhancing emotional wellbeing. Yoga challenges the “mores” of modern day life, providing us with a return to simply being, watching the world around us and an awareness of the impact of this world upon ourselves. In the prevailing Western economic system, should yoga ever become a therapy alleviating many of our illnesses, anxieties or distressing emotions, it will have a fight on its hands to become a dominant therapy. Unlike pharmaceutical medications, yoga cannot be packaged in a box or simply taken mindlessly, nor can it be marketed in huge batches to make enormous profit.

Instead, yoga offers something else: reconnecting with ourselves and learning to see ourselves, and our reactions to the world around us, from a different perspective. It takes emotional and spiritual strength to reflect inwardly and directly address personal conflicts, anxieties, hopes and fears, and understand how we respond to them. It also takes time to learn how these states of mind impact directly on physical wellbeing, and how we can change this.

Research into yoga continues to reveal the health benefits it can have, supporting the case for its use in health care. Through randomized trials, reviews and other studies, we are learning more about the effect yoga can have on different aspects of our physical and mental health. Regular yoga practice can increase our awareness about how our body actually feels, with all its aches and pains, and help us restore balance. Yoga isn’t as simple as taking a pill, but mounting evidence suggests it’s worth the investment of time and effort. Ultimately, in order to benefit from the positive health effects of yoga, we need to be mindful of the present: this moment, now. In such a non-stop world, that, surely, has to be a good thing.