What is it that we expect to gain from our yoga practice? For some it is the physical challenge, for others the discipline of mind over body. For a few it’s simply the companionship of a class in their chosen exercise, while for many it is the silent connection with their inner space, a chance to retreat from busy over-scheduled lives.
The aspect of yoga practice that perhaps we don’t always appreciate is its quantifiable health benefits, not just as a preventative but as a treating therapy.
I recently came across a very easy-going but thought provoking blog by Kristen Shepherd, chiropractor, actor, public speaker and yoga enthusiast. She points out that, “There is a growing body of evidence to support the fact that meditation affects blood pressure, inflammation, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, anxiety, asthma, heart disease, memory, irritable bowel syndrome, and ADD, among others. If health care made sense, meditation would be covered the way yoga classes would be covered.”
Both Diana and I are trained as yoga therapists as well as teachers. This means that we understand yoga not just as an exercise but as a healing therapy.
The Karma Studio team of practitioners has also recently been joined by a Caroline Evans a physiotherapist and yoga therapist who offers one-on-one yoga sessions for clients dealing with serious illness such as cancer.
This reminded me again that I am working with my class participants on many levels and that yoga and the meditation component we always include in our sessions, can help heal and alleviate a wide range of symptoms. It just makes me consider yoga to be all the more precious a gift in my life and one I am committed to sharing with as many people as possible.