Yoga is a Hindu tradition that originates from India around 5,000 years ago and is seen as a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind, and emotions. It is seen as a practice of self discipline that can improve mind-body connection. Yoga in practice uses breathing techniques, meditation and specific strengthening and stretching bodily postures.
Practicing yoga or other restorative aerobic training are widely considered to have a positive effect on your stress levels and overall health.
It is a regenerative practice that can balance out and reduce physiological and psychological stress in the body.
Here is a summary of Clinical Trials on Yoga (8)
There is a theory that suggests that the mind body connection created during yoga practice can induce healthier eating patterns and less binge eating. (1)
The more vigorous the yoga type selected the more calories burned during a session. It has been noted that it is possible for a 150lb human to burn in the region of 1,000 calories in a 90 minute hot yoga session. However, the older participants ( 50 years old+) saw significant BMI reductions than their younger (30 year old mean) cohort, who saw no significant weight reduction. (2)(4)
It is believed that the mind body connection practiced in yoga can help to regulate eating patterns and reduce glucose concentrations in the blood. (2)
However, the older participants ( 50 years old+) saw significant insulin sensitivity improvements compared to their younger (30 year old mean) cohort in trials. (2)(4)
It has also been shown that yoga, hot yoga in particular, is more beneficial at regulating total cholesterol and LDL in older patients ( mean age of 53) than in young adults ( mean age 30), whom showed lower HDL and total cholesterol levels. (3)
Yoga appears to be highly effective in the reduction of inflammation in the body, even as it relates to inflammation due to chronic disease. (5) (6)
Depending on the type of yoga you choose to do, the practice varies widely in terms of intensity, calories burned, muscle groups worked and focus required.
Here is a helpful guide to choose the practice that fits your needs (7)