Yoga devotees overwhelmingly do their downward dogs to improve their general health — and, by and large, it seems to be working, according to a new roundup of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The study of nearly 35,000 adults in the US looked at wellness practices such as yoga, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and dietary supplement use. The goal: To see how the practices made people feel about their health. Here’s the rundown:
- Both people who did yoga and people who took “natural” supplements — a category that excluded vitamins and minerals — overwhelmingly said they did so to improve their general wellness, not alleviate particular symptoms.
- Yoga gives people a big boost in mental health; more than 80 percent of practitioners said it made them feel less stressed and nearly 70 percent said they felt more cheerful.
- Supplements just don’t seem to give people the same results. Fewer than one in four people who used them reported benefits such as reduced stress, better sleep, or emotional well-being.
- More than 60 percent of yogis said the practice motivated them to work out more. But only 16 percent of supplement users found that true.