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    Practice of Yoga and its Impact on Health Insurance

    Geeta Thought She Knew Everything About The Practice Of Yoga - But Here's What She Missed

    Last Updated On 04-01-2024

    Geeta had stereotyped the practice of yoga to images of extreme flexibility and serene meditation, sometimes overlooking its profound philosophical roots.

    While popularised as a physical fitness trend, yoga is a 5000-year-old practice encompassing a holistic approach to well-being beyond its commonly portrayed facets.

    It is not a mere exercise routine but a powerful fusion of physical postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, and mindfulness techniques. This dynamic blend is known to have a positive impact on cellular ageing , enhancing mobility and balance, bolstering mental health, and standing guard against cognitive decline—especially crucial as the years advance.

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    Let us follow Geeta and understand the profound yet often overlooked benefits of yoga and be aware of how the practice of yoga can help reduce the risk of critical illnesses while simultaneously helping reduce medical insurance costs.

    Physical Benefits of Yoga

    Improved Flexibility and Strength

    Firstly, yoga enhances flexibility and strength. The various poses and stretches involved in yoga help improve the range of motion in joints and increase muscle strength.

    A cross-sectional survey conducted in the UK revealed that a significant percentage of participants reported enhanced physical health (88%) and increased strength (87.1%) as a result of practising yoga. This shows the importance of yoga and its health benefits.

    Enhanced Respiratory Function

    Additionally, yoga promotes enhanced respiratory function. The focus on controlled and mindful breathing, known as pranayama , plays a crucial role in optimising respiratory health. This mindful breathwork not only increases lung capacity but also improves the efficiency of the respiratory system.

    Cardiovascular Health

    Furthermore, yoga contributes to cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation and improving cardiovascular function. The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine published a review of 1,400 studies, emphasising the positive impact of pranayama on the cardiovascular system.

    The research highlighted favourable changes in heart rate, stroke capacity, arterial pressure, and heart contractility—all indicative of the substantial cardiovascular benefits derived from the practice of yoga.

    Mental and Emotional Benefits

    Stress Reduction

    A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has demonstrated that yoga can bring about symptomatic relief for individuals with psychiatric conditions, impacting both neurotrophic and psychological factors.

    The practice of yoga aids in the improvement of key psychological factors such as self-efficacy, motivation, self-compassion and psychological flexibility, among others.

    These factors play a crucial role in addressing and alleviating symptoms associated with anxiety disorders, stress and depression, showcasing the multifaceted impact of yoga on mental health.

    Improved Mental Clarity

    The practice of yoga encourages mindfulness and concentration, helping individuals focus their minds and maintain mental sharpness. The meditative aspects of yoga foster a sense of presence and awareness, reducing mental clutter and promoting mental clarity.

    Emotional Well-being

    Moreover, yoga fosters emotional well-being by providing a holistic approach to emotional health. Through a combination of physical postures, meditation and breathwork, yoga cultivates emotional awareness and regulation. It empowers individuals to connect with their emotions in a healthy way, fostering a sense of balance and resilience.

    The mind-body connection inherent in yoga creates a space for emotional self-expression and understanding, contributing to overall emotional well-being.

    Yoga for Specific Health Conditions

    Yoga for Back Pain

    For individuals experiencing back pain, yoga provides a holistic approach by incorporating gentle stretches, strengthening exercises, and postures that promote spine health such as Balasana (Child pose), Sphinx Pose, and Pigeon Pose.

    The mindful movement and attention to alignment in yoga contribute to alleviating back pain and preventing its recurrence.

    Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

    The practice of yoga also stands out as an effective intervention for anxiety and depression.

    Yoga Nidra, a form of guided meditation and body scanning, has shown conclusive evidence in reducing symptoms of anxiety.

    Imaging studies indicate that Yoga Nidra activates key brain regions , including the sensory cortex, while simultaneously decreasing activity in areas associated with executive control and emotion processing.

    This reduction in cognitive functions during Yoga Nidra enhances both physical and mental relaxation, leading to a measurable decrease in anxiety levels.

    Furthermore, subsequent studies demonstrate that Yoga Nidra induces the release of dopamine in the striatum, reinforcing its efficacy in promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety.

    Yoga for Insomnia

    The practice of yoga also proves beneficial for individuals struggling with insomnia.
    Beyond its positive effects on anxiety, Yoga Nidra has been particularly helpful in improving sleep.

    Numerous studies support the efficacy of Yoga Nidra in addressing insomnia, providing a non-pharmacological approach to enhance sleep quality. The practice's calming and meditative elements contribute to a relaxed state conducive to restful sleep, making yoga a valuable tool for those seeking relief from insomnia.

    Impact of Yoga on Medical Insurance Costs

    We have seen the impact of the practice of yoga on physical and mental health. Now, let’s analyse how it can help you financially.

    Insurance premiums are often influenced by lifestyle factors that contribute to health risks. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through proper diet, exercise and yoga can positively impact these factors.

    Lifestyle Factors Affecting Premiums

    The impact of lifestyle on health is a crucial consideration for medical insurance premiums. Insurers often evaluate an individual's lifestyle choices, including diet, exercise, and stress management, to assess health risks.

    Yoga, with its emphasis on physical activity, stress reduction, and holistic well-being, has been associated with numerous health benefits.

    Doing yoga regularly translates into favourable health metrics such as a healthy weight, controlled blood pressure, and a healthy heart, reflecting improved overall well-being– all of which are considered by insurers while calculating insurance premiums.

    Moreover, adopting a healthy lifestyle can lead to additional advantages such as cumulative bonuses in insurance policies.

    Insurers often offer rewards or bonuses for policyholders who consistently demonstrate healthy behaviours and maintain a positive health profile over an extended period, incentivising long-term well-being practices.

    Scope of Cumulative Bonuses

    The insurance landscape is evolving to reward policyholders for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Critical Illness Rider with PNB MetLife

    Without critical illness rider, a severe health diagnosis can inflict a significant financial toll. Medical expenses, treatments, and additional costs can quickly accumulate, jeopardising savings and creating an undue burden.

    PNB MetLife Critical Illness Rider by PNB MetLife offers essential coverage for two major health concerns: Heart Attack and Cancer.

    For heart attacks, PNB MetLife Critical Illness Rider provides coverage for the first occurrence; meeting specified severity criteria, including typical clinical symptoms, electrocardiogram changes, and elevation of infarction-specific markers.

    Similarly, cancer coverage extends to malignant tumours supported by histological evidence that must be confirmed by a pathological report.

    Final Thoughts

    Geeta finally appreciated that integrating practices like yoga and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce her risks associated with critical illnesses.


    The aforesaid article presents the view of an independent writer who is an expert on financial and insurance matters. PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd. doesn’t influence or support views of the writer of the article in any way. The article is informative in nature and PNB MetLife and/ or the writer of the article shall not be responsible for any direct/ indirect loss or liability or medical complications incurred by the reader for taking any decisions based on the contents and information given in article. Please consult your financial advisor/ insurance advisor/ health advisor before making any decision.

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