Hey we all spend enough time prattling on about action sequence yoga practice: breathing, extending, sweating, chaturanga-ing. In the sweeping flow of all the power vinyasa-ing, restorative yoga kinda gets tucked under the blankets. But even without bolster and blocks we bet a good lot of you do your own version of restorative (likely in bed struggling to get up, or calming yourself for sleep), and you’ve probably felt much better afterward. You may even say it’s therapeutic (!) Of course there are spoilsports out there who don’t believe in the mind-body mumbo jumbo, but we’re guessing they haven’t heard about a recent study that found restorative yoga to cut depression in half in breast cancer patients.
The study involved forty-four women, half of whom were the control group, and the other 22 treated to a 75 minute restorative yoga class each week for 10 consecutive weeks. The results for the yoga group were an uplifted state of positivity and increased feelings of well being and calm. Meaning that control half were even more pissed off. (don’t worry, they got to participate after the 10 weeks were up. nice right).
“Evidence from systematic reviews of randomised trials is quite strong that mind-body therapies improve mood, quality of life, and treatment-related symptoms in people with cancer. Yoga is one mind-body therapy that is widely available and involves relatively reasonable costs,” said lead researcher Suzanne Danhauer, Ph.D., based at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Heh, there’s that cost talk again, we told you.
The good news is studies like this could bolster initiatives such as the Donna Karan-Beth Israel project to incorporate mind-body therapies into hospital recovery programs, universally. We know, we heard from you concerned about health insurance getting involved. But with the way the system is today, yoga being accepted as legit is the best thing that could happen for the patients benefiting from it.
This is just one study, and it’s focused on women who, some could argue, naturally get a rise, and healing, out of sharing with other hens in a communal setting. We’d like to see a study like this to include other demographics, and even other illnesses.
Yoga may not be a cure (no offense swamster Ramdev), but improving the quality of life for those battling physical illness is truly one of its priceless benefits.