Yoga may help improve the quality of life for those with ulcerative colitis, suggests a new study, published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

The study consisted of 77 patients with ulcerative colitis, a debilitating digestive order, who were in remission, but were experiencing a reduced quality of life, according to a press release. Some of the participants were assigned to 12 guided, 90-minute weekly yoga classes, and the others were given written self-care advice. Those who did yoga experienced a greater increase in quality of life and reduced activity of their colitis compared to the group who did not.

Read: Inflammatory Bowel Disease 2017: Risk Of Developing Ulcerative Colitis Is Doubled By This Genetic Variant​

Yoga may be an effective addition to traditional ulcerative colitis treatment, suggests lead study author, Holger Cramer.

Traditional treatment of the disease usually involves medications or surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. Typical medications include anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, pain relievers, and iron supplements, among others.

Exercise is also suggested to help reduce stress, which the ancient practice of yoga is well-known for. Although stress doesn’t cause the disease, it’s possible it can worsen the symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes ulcers in the lining of the large intestine, including the colon and rectum. Symptoms vary depending on which part of the colon is affected, but common ones include diarrhea, rectal pain, weight loss, fatigue, and fever.

In the United States, as many as 1.3 million people are estimated to suffer from IBD, including Crohn’s disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

See also: Yoga And Deep Breathing May Be The New Prescription For Depression, Study Reveals

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