Home Practice Promises Greater Benefits

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There's no place like home if you want to reap the most benefit from your yoga practice.

According to a recent study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, frequency of home practice was a better predictor of positive health than how many classes a person attended weekly or how long someone practiced.

Researchers at the University of Maryland and the National Institutes of Health found that those yoga students who practiced at home reported more positive mindfulness, subjective well-being, BMI, fruit and vegetable consumption, vegetarian status, sleep, and fatigue.

"They were even more likely to eat their vegetables!," Timothy McCall, M.D. a contributing medical editor for Yoga Journal, wrote in the Yoga for Healthy Living blog.

"The study bore out something else I’ve been teaching for years: when you combine the various tools in the yoga toolbox including asana, breathing practices, meditation and even study of yoga philosophy you tend to get even better results," McCall added.

Combining different types of asana practice, such as vigorous and restorative poses also proved beneficial. And the study also found that older people experienced less fatigue than younger, but both improved with regular practice.

So not only is it better for your health to practice at home, but to vary your routine to include as many elements of the practice as you can.

The abstract is available here.