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Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in india. there is a broad variety of schools, practices and goals. many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of Yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease. the results of these studies have been mixed and inconclusive, with cancer studies suggesting none to unclear effectiveness, and others suggesting Yoga may reduce risk factors and aid in a patient's psychological healing process.

while much of the medical community regards the results of Yoga research as significant, others point to many flaws which undermine results. long-term Yoga users in the united states have reported musculoskeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics. the definition of Yoga is "the controlling of the mind". the first two steps toward controlling the mind are the perfection of yama and niyama. however, it is "not possible to practice the limbs and sub-limbs of yama and niyama when the body and sense organs are weak and haunted by obstacles" . a person must first take up daily asana practice to make the body strong and healthy. with the body and sense organs thus stabilized, the mind can be steady and controlled. with mind control, one is able to pursue and grasp these first two limbs.

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. 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. other smaller studies support this finding. 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.

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