Cardiovascular disease and the rather more vaguely-defined metabolic syndrome are major public health concerns throughout the developed world.

A new paper in the
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
finds that Yoga, a popular mind-body practice, has value in improving cardio-metabolic health. The conclusion in their review of other papers makes sense. Doing any exercise for an hour a day will improve cardio-metabolic health. Yet some people are not going to get on a treadmill or go for walk so if the Eastern mysticism aspect gets their blood pumping, it can be considered as a potentially effective therapy for such conditions.

The results support earlier reviews on the positive benefits of yoga for cardiovascular disease prevention and demonstrates the potential of yoga to have an impact on concrete, physiological outcomes that represent some of the greatest health burdens today - namely getting people to take some time and get off the couch a little more.

You won't be able to do this Yoga Mudra right away - and that awareness is the biggest obstacle to getting people to do any exercise. 

Obviously any form of exercise is good if it does that. But getting overweight people to exercise is the challenge, that is why they are overweight. If yoga accomplishes that, or if mountain-biking does, that's good, and yoga should be placed alongside more traditional exercise, though beward of numerous mainstream media claims that will be written claiming yoga is a miracle cure for weight-related diseases. It still requires going to a gym and getting on a mat and being uncomfortable until it gets fun.

Article: "The effectiveness of yoga in modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials" European Journal of Preventive Cardiology