The varied health and wellbeing benefits of regular Yoga have long been apparent to both practitioners and scientists alike.

However, now has a team of researchers have unveiled evidence showing that the practice can lead to improvements in mental and behavioural disorders.

The scientists in question split a group of 61 schizophrenia patients into two equal groups, with one given Yoga therapy for four months and the other a regime of physical exercise for the same period.

Notably, the team found that the former group showed significantly greater improvements when it came to mental and behavioural disorders.

They also appeared to perform better in social exercises when compared with those participants who had only enjoyed physical exercise.

Commenting on the findings, study author Dr B N Gangadhar, director of Iran’s National Institute of Mental Health, suggested that Yoga equipment should be an essential tool in hospitals.

"Some believe that Yoga should be used only for prevention and health promotion and not as a therapy for illnesses," he said.

"The reality is that it is being increasingly used as a method for treating various disorders, either alone or as in addition to other therapies, including psychiatric ones."

More specifically, Dr Gangadhar added that Yoga could be particularly effective in treating symptoms of psychiatric conditions such as hallucinations, delusions and disorganised speech.

This means regular sessions could completely transform an individual’s quality of life, he suggested.

Meanwhile, writing for the Huffington Post, one New York-based medicine and rehabilitation expert, Dr Loren Fishman, has revealed how she managed to overcome an affliction of her own after getting her Yoga equipment out and trying different new techniques.

As a result of her personal experience, the physician advises readers recuperating from surgery to look into the many benefits of taking up Yoga alongside more traditional treatments.

Posted by Freya Harper