WHY YOGA?

Our Global State of Health

Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Prevalence are Reaching Epic Proportions

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is currently the leading cause of death from noncommunicable diseases in the world. Risk factors for CVD include physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Each of these risk factors is widespread, especially in the US, and individually contributes to the occurrence of CVD related deaths.

Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting 347 million people worldwide in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced is unable to sufficiently stabilize blood glucose levels. Diabetes results in chronic elevations in blood glucose, which can be harmful to the cells of the body.

We are in a Global Mental Health Crisis

Depression is a mental health disorder affecting an estimated 350 million people worldwide. Often starting in the early stages of life, it is currently the world’s leading cause of disability. Anxiety disorders often coexist with depression and are the most prevalent form of mental illness in the U.S.

For centuries, India has used Yoga as a means of both physical and mental therapy. Not only has it been shown to reduce stress and promote well-being, it has been used to heal the body of many common and complex ailments including arthritis, diabetes, and various autoimmune disorders.

Yoga has increasingly become a form of therapy for individuals in Western countries having transitioned over the last few decades into the U.S. and Europe. However, notwithstanding the growing popularity of Yoga, still only an estimated 15 to 20 million of the over 300 million people in the U.S. have tried yoga, and significantly fewer practice regularly (3 or more times per week).

While most often treated with prescriptive medications, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, depression and anxiety have ALL shown to improve with regular Yoga practice.

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Eastern and Western Science

The achievements of western medicine are vast and many, bringing cures to countless diseases. The application of technology and scientific methods continues to raise the bar and bring expensive cures and treatments to a myriad of newly-categorized afflictions. However, emphasis on treating symptoms instead of the cause is a common criticism of our current system, exemplified by a prescription drug spending increase from $182 billion in 1990 to $391 billion in 2009.

Eastern medicine emphasizes wellness, prevention, and treating the cause, not the symptom using many alternative therapies to accomplish this task. Anecdotal testimonies to the efficacy of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) abound but the research is limited with relatively few scientific studies having been completed.

Thus, despite its long lineage and wealth of anectodal claims, yoga is still referred to as an “unproven treatment” according to the American Medical Association who has called for “rigorous research to study the safety and efficacy” of the practice.

We’re here to find the facts.

PURE Action brings the ancient benefits of yoga to Mainstream Medicine through Research, Education, and Community.