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The results of a long-term study out of the University of Cincinnati point to yet another reason to adopt a regular yoga practice: It can help with positive coping mechanisms and long-term resilience.
The study analyzed the behaviors of 125 at-risk youth over a 10-year period, all of whom had early-life stressors. The researchers analyzed their ability to cope with life stress over time: When negative life events happened, did they engage in substance abuse or risky sexual behavior, or were they able to call upon positive coping mechanisms and come out stronger?
The researchers found that the subjects who participated in weekly mindful yoga intervention programs developed significantly stronger coping skills, like the ability to take control of their emotions and breath. "These findings highlight the importance of implementing positive coping strategies for at-risk youth particularly for reducing illicit drug use and risky sexual behavior," explains study author Jacinda Dariotis. "Mindfulness-based yoga programs designed to improve the ability to cope are needed at earlier ages in schools to help vulnerable youth channel their skills more effectively."
The ability to develop stronger coping mechanisms is hardly the only benefits of a regular yoga practice. This year, researchers also found that yoga helps treat symptoms of depression, changes the structure of your brain (in a good way), and even alters your DNA.
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