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Yoga is one such form of exercise that actually boasts an impressive plethora of physical and mental benefits, which include reducing depression symptoms, improving heart health, building strength and flexibility. But one of the benefits of yoga that stands out is its potent ability to treat diseases.
Various health conditions or diseases such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, anxiety and depression, joint and muscle pain, back pain, cancer and so on can be treated with several types of yoga  .
However, one needs to keep in mind that practising only yoga will not help in curing the diseases. But yoga should be a part of the treatment process.
Here are some diseases that yoga could treat. Read on.
The yoga asana called Hatha yoga can improve the quality of life in cancer patients. Practising Hatha yoga as a part of the cancer treatment process has also shown improvements in biomarkers such as TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and Interleukin 6  . However, Hatha yoga has no effect on the underlying cause of the disease.
2. Back pain
Low back pain is caused due to many factors like injury, poor posture, repetitive motion, or ageing. Hatha yoga is one of the yoga exercises that is effective in the management of chronic low back pain. Hatha yoga form usually combines elements of postural positioning, concentration, breathing, and meditation  .
3. Coronary atherosclerosis
Patients with coronary artery disease should practice deep breathing exercises like Pranayama as it lowers serum cholesterol levels (total cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and LDL cholesterol), improves exercise capacity, and reduces body weight  .
Pranayama is a deep breathing exercise which can help overcome and prevent asthma attacks. During Pranayama, the air that you inhale pushes open the closed or non-functioning alveoli of lungs. This fills the lung capillaries with more oxygen and regulates your breathing rate  .
The Surya Namaskar is a twelve-step yoga asana that involves stretching and breathing, which is very much effective in controlling and managing diabetes, as it elevates the production of insulin from the pancreas  .
6. Heart problems
The cobra pose is effective in treating heart problems, as it aids in stretching and expanding the chest, thereby allowing more blood flow to the heart and stimulating it. Another breathing exercise called Kapalbhati is helpful in treating heart diseases, because it promotes the intake of more air into the lungs and allows more oxygen to spread into the pulmonary blood circulation  .
7. Anxiety and depression
Backbend yoga is another form of yoga, which is effective in fighting anxiety and depression and helps in relaxing your mind  . In an anxiety attack, the body and mind go into a panic mode, which makes your body flooded with 'fight or flight hormone'. So, simple deep breathing exercises can help relax your mind and body.
Sarvangasana yoga, in particular, has been shown to be beneficial in preventing and treating hypertension. This form of yoga combined with relaxation, psychotherapy, and transcendental meditation has an anti-hypertensive effect  .
9. Stomach problems
The child pose is extremely beneficial in curing indigestion problems by helping in proper bowel movements. It also aids in relieving irritable bowel syndrome and other stomach-related problems  .
10. Joint and muscle pain
The tree pose is effective in treating bone, joint and muscle pain by correcting back alignment and strengthening the lower back muscles. Surya Namaskar is also beneficial in treating joint pain and arthritis.
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