Yoga makes you taller

This week a student came to class telling me that she had read that yoga would make you taller. She had read a news article about research that showed that 100% of the participants in a study got taller doing yoga. I found that astounding. Could it really be true? 100% of the participants got taller? I went in search of the data. And she was right.

Dr. Jinsup Song conducted the research at a Temple University. He studied 24 women over 65 years old who had not been active before the study. He introduced an Iyengar Yoga routine to the group. They worked on a set of poses that Mr. Iyengar prescribed specifically for this study. Dr. Song describes the practice as a ‘very basic regimen” and contrasts it with more active yoga practices in other studies. The women were observed over the course of 9 weeks. At the end of the 9 weeks all of the women were one cm or more taller than they had been at the beginning of the study Dr. Song believes that postural improvements account for their increased height in the participants.

They also showed significant improvements in gait, posture, flexibility, and strength. They carried their weight more effectively on their feet. They had a faster stride with fewer falls and stumbles. This later improvement is considered one of the most valuable outcomes of the study as falling can be a significant cause of loss of independence for seniors. The participants enjoyed the program and were motivated to continue as they had a better outlook on their day-to-day lives, found the classes engaging and missed it when they couldn’t attend.

I mentioned the study to my students this week. And they all shook their heads in agreement. They started telling me their stories of improved health. Here are some reports of the benefits my yoga students have found from their practice:
“Yes, I am taller now.”
“My doctor measured my breathing, and I have more breath volume than I did before I started practicing.”
“I have less pain and I just feel better when I attend.”
“I don’t need to go to the chiropractor anymore, I can take care of my own back now.”
“My neck pain is gone.”

Yep, it’s good for us. Yep, it makes you feel better in your body. Yep, you’ll age more gracefully. Yep, you’ll be more comfortable on your feet.

I’ve written to Dr. Song to find out the specific routine he used. I’ll report more soon.