Medical conditions yoga can help with

Last Updated September 11th, 2023

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that traces its roots to over 5000 years ago in Northern India. It has since gained global acclaim with over 300 million yoga practitioners. These practitioners of yoga have outlined its numerous benefits, such as weight reduction, enhanced muscle tone and strength, increased performance in athletics, improved energy, cardiovascular health and respiration, among others. Yoga also blends in well with conventional treatment for different health conditions. It is important however to notify your doctors before taking part in any yoga regimen especially if you are on medication, pregnant or have a preexisting injury or health condition. Below, we undertake an in-depth exploration of the different health conditions that yoga can help you with controlling along with the particular asanas for each of those conditions.


Diabetes is a leading health condition of global concern affecting an estimated 537 million adults worldwide. This number is projected to hit the 643 million mark by 2030. Diabetes is caused by insufficient insulin production or the body’s failure to respond adequately to insulin. Diabetic patients often manifest such symptoms as fatigue, hunger, blurred vision, excessive thirst, and itchy skin. Yoga is beneficial to diabetic patients because it minimizes the risk of health complications like diabetic neuropathy. It does this by improving blood sugar levels, promoting balance, and boosting strength. 

Suggested yoga asanas

Surya Namaskar (sun salutation): This pose is highly beneficial to patients presenting with diabetes symptoms. It promotes insulin production, and improves blood sugar levels helping to control diabetes. Other benefits include strengthening your body and enhanced blood circulation. 

Dhanurasana (bow pose): This asana can also be effective in balancing blood sugar levels. It does this by regulating the function of your pancreases. 

Bhujangasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose): This pose improves the coordination of quadriceps muscles and spinal extensors. This promotes an increase in muscle strength and blood sugar levels reduce. 

Tadasana (Mountain Pose): This pose involves standing straight with arms clasped together and entrenched, while the feet are firmly on the ground. Tadasana promotes concentration and spinal flexibility. It is also associated with these aids in the efficient working of internal organs. Tadasana enhances insulin sensitivity, promotes blood circulation, and ensures better control of blood sugar levels. 

Halasana (Plow Pose): Halasana is especially suitable for diabetic patients with a sedentary lifestyle. This is because halasana ensures that your body does not suffer the adverse effects of poor management of diabetes. The pose entails exercising one’s abdomen muscles. It triggers insulin secretion and belly fat reduction. Halasana thus aids in the management of blood sugar levels. The pose can reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. 

Digestive disorders

There are various digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and gastritis and flatulence, among others. These conditions present with such symptoms as loss of appetite, severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

Suggested yoga asanas

Balasana (Child Pose): This is a kneeling or resting pose in which you rest your belly between things. In the meantime, ensure your hands press against the ground and the forehead too. This posture aids in bowel movement and may also relieve flatulence and gas.

Apanasan (Knees to chest pose): This pose is great for relieving indigestion, acidity, constipation, or bloating. It aids in ridding off any toxic materials from the digestive system.

Cardiovascular disease

Heart disease is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, accounting for an estimated 18 million deaths annually. Certain yoga asanas are effective in the management of health diseases.

Suggested yoga asanas

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): This posture entails bending your back, thereby assisting with the stretching of the whole upper body, including the chest. The Cobra pose is associated with stretching of the heart and other internal organs, promoting an increase in blood flow. The heart muscles are stimulated and strengthened. 

Kapalbhati pranayama: It is equally effective seeing as it promotes oxygen absorption into the bloodstream. Performing Kapalbhati each morning and evening not only calms your mind thus reducing blood pressure.  

Forward bend pose: This asana is done with your legs stretched out as you sit on the floor. In this position, move your forehead towards the thighs and exhale. Try to grasp your ankles using your outstretched hands. Hold the position for about 30 seconds. The forward bend pose aids in insulin resistance controls while also promoting digestion. It minimizes the risk of a heart blockage.

Bridge poseThis asana involves lying flat out on the floor with your back against the floor. Bend the knees even as the hands remain stretched on the side of the body. Slowly move your hips off the ground to the position of a raised back. Ensure your chin remains tucked in the chest. Take deep breaths with your hands firmly clasped behind your back. Lower the back after breathing in and out for several seconds. The bridge pose is associated with a safe heart because of its role in reducing blood pressure. 


Mental health problems are fast becoming an issue of public health concern. Various asanas are prescribed to ease these depressive symptoms.

Suggested yoga asanas

Balasan (child pose): This pose is associated with enhanced calmness and stability. Practicing balasana daily assists with balagan relief from anxiety and depression-related symptoms. This is because of the restful and calming relief that is associated with the child’s pose. This asana gently stretches the hips and back, promoting relaxation of your body. 

Halasana (plow pose): This posture improves one’s posture by stretching your back, thus reducing any strain. This results in a calming effect on the brain and hence stress reduction. Halasana is especially effective for individuals suffering from insomnia and headaches. 

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing dog): The pose involves forming an arch with your body. The hands are outstretched forward on a mat while the feet are firmly fixed on the mat too with the head facing down. This dynamic pose aids in even blood circulation throughout the body. Stretching your cervical spine and neck, aids in the release of any stress resulting in a calming and anxiety-reducing feeling.  

Anulom vilom pranayama: It can also be an effective asana in managing anxiety and depression. This is because it entails deep breathing that slows your heart rate, resulting in a calming and soothing effect.

Kidney disease

The kidneys have important functions to play in our bodies, including the elimination of excess fluid and waste and cleansing the body. Kidneys maintain minerals and salt balance in the blood. This is besides their essential role in regulating blood pressure. In case of an imbalance in one of these functions, we are likely to suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The condition manifests in such symptoms as swelling of ankles and feet. The face and hands may also get swollen. Also, the patient presents with back pain, weakness, and fatigue

Suggested yoga asanas

Naukasana: Also, known as the Boat pose, this asana stimulates your abdominal organs while also strengthening them. The pose reduces stress and improves digestion.

Salamba Bhujangasana: This pose is also referred to as the Sphinx pose. The pose entails lying on one’s belly with the forearms stretched flat on the floor. Meanwhile, your elbows must be beneath your shoulders while the things and ken caps remain close together. The next step is to inhale with the chest and head rising from the floor. Sphinx strengthens the core body besides opening up your chest.

Ardha Matsyendrasana: Also known as the Spinal Twist, this asana promotes spinal elasticity, reduces stress, and calms your mind. It allows you to extend the thighs and hips outwards and in the process enhance the role of your kidneys in the purification of blood and elimination of waste.  

Headache or migraine

Practicing yoga will also offer you relief from migraines or severe headaches. 

Suggested yoga asanas

Forward Fold: This practice entails standing tall with feet firmly on the ground. Bend your hips until you touch the floor with your hands stretched out and the crown of your head facing downwards. The posture promotes improvements in blood flow, reduces stress, and calms your mind. These symptoms are contributing factors to migraines. 

Legs up the wall: In this posture, you lie down with your back facing the wall. Lift your legs again the wall with your hands stretched out straight on the floor. Ensure the palms of your hands are facing up. Take 10 deep breaths as you maintain this posture.

Savasana (Corpse Pose): This asana has also proven to be a quick fix for managing headaches. The corpse pose calms your mind and relaxes your nerves. This helps to soothe the areas of tension in your head, thus reducing the severity of headaches.


This is an example of a rheumatoid disease where one or more of your joints gets inflamed. The condition manifests in stiffness of joints and pain, a situation that exacerbates as one gets older. Patients suffering from arthritis present with such symptoms as swollen joints and redness. Yoga has proven to be an effective remedy for the management of arthritis. Arthritis patients attending yoga classes once per week report improvements in joint stiffness and pain reduction over the duration of an eight-week-long program.  

Suggested yoga asanas

Shishuasana (Child pose): This asana is associated with vertebra straightening. The pose helps with tension reduction in one’s neck and shoulder. The downward-facing dog pose is equally effective in managing arthritis. It subjects your hamstrings to deep stretching and promotes balance and coordination of the entire body. The pose relaxes your shoulders thus alleviative arthritic pain. 

Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose): This pose raising your clasped hands together to full strength while standing with your right knee bending at 45 degrees while the left leg is stretched backwards. Take a few deep breaths while maintaining this pose. The Warrior pose is associated with strengthened legs and arms. It also improves back and shoulders pain. 

Vrikshasana (Tree pose): To perform the tree pose, position your right foot at the level of your left thing. Locate your balance and maintain the left leg straight. Inhale with your arms raised over the head and your palms clasped together. Release the right leg and lower the clasped hands as you exhale slowly. The tree pose helps to strengthen the back and legs. It also promotes balance. 

Trikonasana (Triangle Pose): The pose involves stretching one’s right foot at 90 degrees with feet wide apart. Press the feet firmly on the ground. Take deep breaths with the right arm bent and the waist straight. The pose mobilizes your hips while also promoting in stretching of the torso and legs. 

Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS)

This is a health condition that interferes with the function of a woman’s ovaries due to environmental or genetic factors. The condition is characterized by increased production of androgens by ovaries. The hormone is associated with male sex development and hence not pronounced in women. The results of excessive androgens production are increased weight gain and irregular monthly periods. A woman affected by this condition may also present with ovulation and fertility problems. Participation in yoga practice can reduce testosterone levels in women with PCOS leading to reduced anxiety and depression. 

Suggested yoga asanas

Malasana (Garland Pose): This pose helps with the opening up of the hips. It is also associated with a strengthened abdominal core and pelvic floor. Malasana promotes blood flow and circulation in PCOS patients, primarily to the pelvic region. 

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose): This pose is associated with menstrual flow regulation, thereby relieving the discomfort brought about by the menstrual cycle. It further stimulates reproductive organs. 

Chakravakasana (Cat-Cow Pose): This asana strengthens the core muscles and spine resulting in extra stretching while experiencing menstrual cramps or during pregnancy. The Cat-Cow Pose allows women to overcome the impact of hormonal imbalance and PCOS. 


An overproduction of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or limited production (hypothyroidism) usually causes thyroid problems. Thyroid disorder interferes with such functions as metabolism, heart rate, pregnancy, and energy levels. Several studies reveal a positive association between practising yoga and improvements in thyroid function. However, it is important to note that yoga should not replace any medication or therapies for thyroid problems but should instead be considered a complementary therapy.

Suggested yoga asanas

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand): This asana takes the form of an inverted pose, with your neck and shoulders against the floor and your hands acting as support for your waist. This allows you to fully stretch your legs. The Shoulder Stand promotes the flow of blood to the glands in your upper body. Tucking the chin into the chest further enhances the thyroid function while also regulating metabolism. 

Matsyasana (Fish Pose): Matsyasana entails stimulating your thyroid glands by stretching the neck and throat. This asana also helps to reverse hypothyroidism. By promoting the flow of blood into the thyroid glands.

Ustrasana (Camel Pose): This asana is also popular with improving thyroid function. Camel Pose entails stretching of the neck to ensure increased circulation of blood in the thyroid glands. The thyroid gland undergoes stimulation. 

Halasana (Plow Pose): This pose stretches your body and hence relaxes organs. Stretching of your neck stimulates the pituitary and thyroid glands. This pose is however unsuitable for individuals with hyperthyroidism because of the secretion of thyroid hormones. 


Having a bowel movement every day is considered healthy. Left untreated, constipation is associated with mood swings and hormonal imbalances, among other health issues. 

Suggested yoga asanas

Malsana (Garland pose): Malasana relieves constipation by toning your abdominal muscles. This not only aids in elimination but also enhances your colon functionality, and improves concentration and balance. 

Halasana (Plough pose): This asana increases comfort to the intestine and liver. It boosts digestion by promoting blood circulation to your pelvic region. 

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose): This pose is associated with increased relief from bloating and gas. The butterfly pose also aids in bowel movement, besides relieving stress.


Asthma is a respiratory disease that manifests in tightness in the chest, coughing wheezing, and difficulty in breathing. Asthma attacks are usually triggered by allergies or stress. 

Thankfully, certain yoga asanas have proven beneficial in reliving asthmatic attacks. 

Suggested yoga asanas

Sukasana pose (Easy pose): This pose promotes your lung function by focusing on breathing. It, therefore, affords you relief from an asthmatic attack. 

Baddhakonasana (Butterfly pose): This asana aids in stretching your body, leading to relaxation. The butterfly pose thus affords you relief from asthmatic attacks. It involves sitting down with your legs crossed and back straightened. Bend your body slightly forward and hold the soles of your feet with your hands. Take five deep breaths in this position and relax. 


Yoga asanas have also proven beneficial in relieving back pain. Back pain is primarily triggered by incorrect posture and limited exercise. The following asanas can help with strengthening the back:

Majarysana (Cat Cow Pose): This pose involves going down on both your hands and knees. In this position, take full deep breaths and stretch your back to the maximum. Assume the original pose. The cat Cow Pose improves balance and posture. The asana is also associated with relieving of stress. 

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose): This asana involves bending your back with the abdominal resection being your target. The Cobra Pose promotes blood circulation. It also maintains a healthy heart and strengthens the spine. 

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Poe): This pose involves laying down with your back facing upwards. The idea is to thrust your hips upwards. Maintain this position for a few moments with your hands acting as support beneath the hips. The Bridge pose promotes blood circulation, besides strengthening your back. 


Yoga has received widespread acceptance as a complementary therapy. It promotes circulatory and cardio health, improves flexibility, and promotes metabolism. Practising yoga is also associated with increased blood flow, energy, and vitality. For these and other reasons, yoga offers relief to various conditions, including asthma, diabetes, thyroid problems, and constipation, among others. You are, however, advised to always consult with your doctor before taking on yoga as a complementary therapy for your condition. 




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