The benefits of yoga

Yoga can be an effective tool for individuals who may be dealing with health challenges. Moreover medical practitioners are adding yoga therapy as a preventive mechanism or as part of the arsenal of tools to be used to irradiate illness. If you are sick yoga can help you feel better. If you are depressed, anxious, tired all the time, addicted to drugs, or bothered by low back pain yoga can set you on the path to recovery. Young and old and all ages in between are perfect candidates for yoga therapy.

Western medicine prescribes pharmaceutical medication at a high rate. Our society leads the world in health issues a such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. In the 21st century Americans are sicker and heavier than any other time in recorded history. For the first time ever our children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that science is now recognizing the benefits that yoga can offer, to anyone. Included in the physical practice of yoga, for healing is the breath work and meditation. Physicians, neuroscientists, psychologists and other researchers are documenting evidence of how a consistent yoga practice affects us mentally and physically. Additionally it may help to prevent and assist in the treatment of a number of common ailments that shorten our lives and threaten our vitality. Medical institutions around the country, such as Duke, Harvard, University of CA, San Francisco are leading the research efforts. The National Institute of Health is funding some of this research.

Duke University’s Integrative Medicine department, in Durham NC has integrated yoga into medicine and medicine into yoga. The department is one of the only major medical centers to offer yoga teacher training. It’s two programs “Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors” and “Yoga of Awareness for Cancer” are taught by a team of yoga instructors, doctors, physical therapists, and mental health professionals.

The human body is a complex machine that has the capacity to heal. With the right combination of diet, movement, appropriate medical care and yoga as therapy healing from disease, trauma, major and minor illness is possible.

source: Yoga Journal September 2013

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