Just ask your doctor!
Although most people are skeptical, doctors are prescribing yoga to patients with a variety of ailments.
Dr. Loren Fishman, a rehabilitative medicine specialist at Columbia University's New York-Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan, believes in the healing power of yoga, saying:
"Yoga lowers your tension. It relaxes the basic tone of your muscle. And the minute you notice that yoga helps, it raises your confidence that you can help yourself. It gives you the feeling of 'I can do it.'"
Dr. Fishman suggested to a patient suffering from chronic headaches after a severe car accident that she do the camel pose, the bridge pose and the wheel pose for headaches. He says these poses stretch the muscles in the front of the chest, which help control the head. The Yoga Journal has more information on yoga for headaches.
Several studies, including one published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology show yoga can help asthma sufferers. Livestrong and Women Fitness list poses that seem to help.
3. Sexual dysfunction in women
A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine shows yoga improved women's desire, satisfaction and orgasms. Health magazine suggests a sequence of wide leg squat to lizard lunge to frog pose to improve a woman's sex life. Harvard Medical School also has suggestions (added) for yoga poses to enhance sexual function.
4. Sexual dysfunction in men
Doctors in India have successfully used yoga to treat men with premature ejaculation; there are more details in an article in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Men's Health suggests certain poses to help men improve their sex lives, including something called "horndog pose."
5. Sleep problems
Researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found lymphoma patients who did yoga slept better than those who didn't. About.com's yoga guide suggests trying the happy baby pose or the goddess pose before you go to bed.
6. Menstrual pain
According to a study published in the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology the cobra, cat and fish poses helped teens and young women with menstrual pain.
7. Rotator cuff injuries
Fishman published a study earlier this year showing a chair-assisted headstand can help people with rotator cuff tears.
Fishman also published a study showing a regimen of 10 yoga poses helps build bone mineral density after menopause.
9. Pain sensitivity
According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, a study at the University of Utah showed people who practice yoga had a higher pain tolerance than those who didn't.
10. Depression and anxiety
A German study mentioned in the same Harvard publication showed that emotionally distressed women became less depressed and anxious after they took two 90-minute yoga classes a week for three months. This yoga journal article suggests camel pose, bridge pose and wheel pose.
[Image via AP Images.]