Potential Benefits for Adults Long-term yoga practitioners in the United States have reported musculoskeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics.[8] Regular yoga practice increases brain GABA levels and has been shown to improve mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically matched exercises, such as walking.[120][121] The three main focuses of Hatha yoga (exercise, breathing, and meditation) make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease. Overall, studies of the effects of yoga on heart disease suggest that yoga may reduce high blood pressure, improve symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors.[122] For chronic low back pain, specialist Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has been found 30% more beneficial than usual care alone in a UK clinical trial.[123] Other smaller studies support this finding.[124][125] The Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs programme is the dominant treatment for society (both cheaper and more effective than usual care alone) due to 8.5 fewer days off work each year.[126] A research group from Boston University School of Medicine also tested yoga’s effects on lower back pain. Over twelve weeks, one group of volunteers practiced yoga while the control group continued with standard treatment for back pain. The reported pain for yoga participants decreased by one third, while the standard treatment group had only a five percent drop. Yoga participants also had a drop of 80% in pain medication use.[127] There has been an emergence of studies investigating yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer patients. Yoga is used for treatment of cancer patients to decrease depression,

nsomnia, pain, and fatigue and increase anxiety control.[128] Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs include yoga as a mind-body technique to reduce stress. A study found that after seven weeks the group treated with yoga reported significantly less mood disturbance and reduced stress compared to the control group. Another study found that MBSR had showed positive effects on sleep anxiety, quality of life, and spiritual growth.[129] Researchers at Washington State University conducted a study in 2007 to see if there was a link between yoga and the health of breast cancer patients. Their results showed that Iyengar yoga could help reduce the inflammation caused by therapy. The ten women in the yoga group participated in 90-minute yoga sessions three times a week for eight consecutive weeks, while the others continued with their normal routines and treatments. At the end of the eight weeks, the researchers compared blood tests and quality-of-life surveys of the yoga group and control group. The researchers noted that the majority of the test subjects were clinically depressed prior to the trial, but after eight weeks of yoga, the yoga group reported less fatigue and better moods.[130] Other researchers have looked into yoga as a supplementary or alternative treatment for arthritis. Researchers in the United Arab Emirates studied a group of over forty rheumatoid arthritis patients to see if yoga could be effective in treating the disease. The yoga group completed twelve sessions of Raj yoga, which combines exercise and breathing techniques. The yoga group showed improvement in disease activity scores, but there was no statistically significant evidence to show that their quality of life improved.