Step into a typical yoga class and you’re likely to hear at least some reference to the heart. Backbends are often referred to as “heart openers.” Cues like “lift your heart” or “shine your heart forward” are common. And if you practice long enough, you’ll almost certainly catch a mention or two of the heart chakra. But while poetic or esoteric heart-language is often par for the yoga class course, it’s less often that we hear talk of yoga’s effects on the cardiovascular system. Or at least it was until this past December when word spread about new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggesting that yoga may help protect against heart disease.
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