In addition to helping you achieve a better body, yoga can make a significant difference in a woman's sense of well-being, even—and especially—when dealing with serious health challenges.
Recent research from India found that yoga can have a positive impact on menopause symptoms. The study followed a group of women who practiced the postures, breathing and meditation associated with yoga, while also listening to lectures on managing stress with yoga; a second group of women were assigned basic stretching and strengthen exercises, and listened to lectures on nutrition, fitness, and the biology of menopause.
In two months, the women in the yoga group had fewer hot flashes, fewer night sweats and less difficulty sleeping, while the women in the non-yoga group showed no changes.
Likewise, breast-cancer patients who attended a 10-week yoga program reported feeling notably less depressed and more calm, whereas women who were waitlisted did not report feeling any better during that time.
Interestingly, the research found that those who start out with the most negative outlook appear to have the most positive outcome after practicing yoga.