I thought I would share a very nice article from Vox which describes the increase in Yoga and Meditation as health practice in America from 2012 through now. https://apple.news/A5UvF1NBaTyyrGj7_97fxpA
This suggests a very interesting connection between reduction of pain and inflammation from yoga practice which is distinct from the results of regular exercise. Researches also suggest that the element of meditation and relaxation is part of the effectiveness of yoga for health conditions related to stress.
What a nice demonstration of the mind body connection, and how a harmony between the two promotes health. Although the traditions of yoga and meditation have existed for thousands of years, the science of studying those practices began in the 1960s. The numbers of scientific studies related to meditation are in the thousands, many of the later ones employing advanced functional brain imaging.
We can confidently argue that regular practice of anything changes brain activity and connectivity in certain regions. The combination of the research base in this neuroplasticity combined with the research base in meditative practice gives us all a clue on how to lower the effects of stress on the body and the mind.