TIME: Yoga Works as Well as Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Another study is touting the benefits of yoga—this time, for people with back problems. The new research put yoga head-to-head against physical therapy and found the two were equally good at restoring function and reducing the need for pain medication over time.

Based on their findings, the authors conclude that yoga may be a reasonable alternative to physical therapy, depending on availability, cost and patient preference. “Our study shows that when yoga is made available and affordable to a diverse population, people of both sexes, people who are disabled, [people of] different races and economic backgrounds are receptive to yoga and, more importantly, can benefit from it,” said Saper.While yoga has become increasingly popular across the United States, teachers and classes are still relatively rare in communities of color and disadvantaged areas. “Therefore, it’s important that we begin to train and build and make yoga more available to diverse communities,” he said.

Yoga in San Francisco at Maiden Lane Studios