According to DHA’s 2019 Dubai Investment Guide, the prevalence of obesity in the emirate among adults is 34.5 per cent.
Subsequently, in Dubai, a significant number of the population are also affected by high cholesterol, which is often related to the same sedentary lifestyle and poor diet choices that lead to obesity.
According to The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, in the UAE, between the years 2007 and 2017, there was a 175.9 per cent increase in deaths caused by Ischemic heart disease, a result of high cholesterol.
Dubai-based Dr Kasi, Lead Trainer at 1,000 Petaled Lotus Yoga Training and Retreats, says, “This is mainly because of diet, inactivity and stress. If you are not managing your lifestyle properly, you are at risk.”
Dr Kasi believes that yoga is one way that people can rectify their inactivity. “Yoga is a scientific system of physical and mental practices that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago.
“The yogasanas (physical postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation help to manage your lifestyle effectively. A recent study published in May 2019 in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that doing yoga three times a week significantly reduces total cholesterol and low density lipids (bad cholesterol).”
A 2002 study by Duke University found that exercise, including yoga, can actually improve the size and number of particles carrying cholesterol through the body. The study described those who exercised as having “fluffier” particles that are less likely to clog the arteries.
Yoga is also a low-impact sport, so if you are overweight you are less likely to suffer an injury. However, although yoga is a low-impact exercise without any known side effects, Dr Kasi believes it is best if learnt through a certified yoga instructor.