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YOGA; It Is About Healing

YOGA! July challenge
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By now you probably have heard of some the multiple benefits of practicing the ancient art of yoga; benefits like increasing flexibility,  improving balance, making muscles stronger and even greater concentration and focus.  Maybe it is just enough incentive to get to walk into the nearest local yoga studio,  as strange as it may be at first, to try your hand at doing yoga.  What’s that all about anyway?  Well, I can tell you it is about a lot of healing.

Certainly improving flexibility, balance, and strength are things we all could use in our busy western and often sedentary lives, particularly as we get older.   But there are more, so many more, benefits waiting for you.  The benefits may come first from undoing the many misalignments in the body from years of sports, common injuries (and the harboring of injuries), physical and mental trauma, effects from the lack of doing enough exercise at all, and the long term affects of repeated occupation motion such as computer use.  Maybe you suffer from low back pain or even more chronic problems like arthritis, diabetes, migraine headaches,  or anxiety related problems.  For all of these health problems, yoga provides a life-changing potential.   Did you know also that yoga has a profound effect on boosting the immune system?

Yoga heals by doing.  Just doing yoga will improve posture, lung function,  joint tissue,  return of venous blood to the heart, and function of the nervous system.   It also improves the function of the feet, strengthening of the bones, lowers blood pressure and reduces blood sugar.

The list of benefits goes on and on.  What I find is particularly useful is the method in which yoga helps to make you healthier.  Yoga is unique from the western approach to healing in that it requires you to take ownership over the cause and the treatment.  In yoga you are involved in your own healing.  In much of conventional medicine, patients are passive recipients of care.  In yoga, the essential element is not what is done to you but what you do for yourself.  Yoga gives people something tangible they can do and most people start to feel better the very first time they try it.  They also observe that the more they commit to the practice, the greater the benefits tend to be.  This not only involves them in their own care, it gives them the message that there is hope, and hope itself can be healing-healing and self perpetuating.   If you can discover for yourself that yoga can be healing, you are much more likely to continue your practice.  The more you continue your practice the more benefits you receive.

In my own practice I have discovered that the great lesson of yoga:  it  connects me to all aspects of my life.  Understanding that it is a connection to all parts of my life, including my community, makes it a powerful mechanism for healing.  It taps into dozens of other mechanisms that may have additive and even multiple beneficial effects.  Now that is a lot of healing!

By Peter Mico, Owner, Instructor of  Downtown Yoga

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