Practice Yoga at Home for Better Health


Do you practice yoga at home? This may be a key to improving your overall health and it doesn't matter how many years you've been practicing.

Research shows that the more you practice yoga at home, the more likely you are to have feelings of well-being, better nutrition, improved sleep and more energy, in other words, better health habits.

University of Maryland School of Nursing researchers in Baltimore and the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, surveyed yoga practitioners and found that frequency of home practice among respondents was key to enjoying a multitude of health benefits. Interestingly, frequency of practice was a higher predictor of positive outcomes than the number of years a person had practiced yoga or the number of classes he or she attended weekly.

“It is not enough simply to learn how to do healthy behaviors,” emphasized study authors. “Rather, healthy behaviors must be incorporated into one’s daily life. While these findings suggest that individuals will only glean benefits from yoga practice that are proportional to the energy that they are willing to invest in making it a part of their lives, the findings also suggest that they do not have to practice for years in order to reap the rewards.”

Study limitations include the fact that survey respondents were all Iyengar yoga practitioners in the United States, that online anonymous surveys can have potential for bias and that the 27% response rate was low. Researchers recommended that future research examine the comparative effectiveness of different styles of yoga on a variety of health outcomes.

The study appears in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2012; doi: 10.1155/2012/983258).