Are there proven health benefits of yoga?

There are multiple studies that have demonstrated that yoga lowers your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.  Yoga has also been found to reduce high blood sugar.
A four-year study showed that overweight adults who practiced yoga at least once a week lost 5 pounds.  A non-yoga group gained 13 pounds.
The calories burned during yoga are about the same as when you take a walk, so how does it help with weight loss?
Yoga appears to work the opposite of aerobic exercise such as running or lifting weights.  During yoga, the heart rate slows down and blood pressure actually decreases.  This decreases the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, and increases the release of serotonin which is a hormone that affects mood and appetite.
yoga

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