Principle # 8a – Yoga – Meditation/Yoga Relationship

As I have continued in my Emergency Medicine practice, I have witnessed the increasing number of patients with diseases that could either be either directly or indirectly  associated to stress-related illnesses such high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, chronic back pain, headaches, heart disease, insomnia, chronic pain, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems, dementia, arthritis, and diabetes.  All of the above illnesses can either result in death or a decreased quality of life if left unchecked to run rampant.  The list is endless of how stress has an adverse effect on the body!

How can Yoga be of benefit?  Yoga combines stretching, breathing, and relaxation.   Yoga is great for flexibility, for strength, and for posture and balance and creates awareness and harmony within both the mind and body.   The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome.  Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia, assist in weight reduction, increase cardio and circulatory health, contribute with the maintenance of a balanced metabolism, provide protection from injury, improved athletic performance, increased muscle strength and tone, and flexibility, and helps manage stress improving one’s overall mental well-being.  It is a great way to get in tune with your body and your inner self.

Other benefits of yoga: provides peace of mind, boosts the immune system, allows for a deeper sleep, helps one focus, lowers blood sugar, protects the spine, improves bone health, prevents cartilage and joint breakdown, builds muscle strength, improves  posture, and encourages self-care. Other benefits of yoga are contributing with the reduction or alleviation of the following diseases/symptoms: carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, muscular dystrophy, migraines, scoliosis, chronic bronchitis, epilepsy, sciatica, allergies, menopause, back pain,  preventing food cravings, and boosting sexual performance.

Yoga allows one to take personal responsibility and accountability for their Health and not to leave it up to someone else or a Physician.  Most patients are passive recipients of care. In yoga, it’s what you do for yourself that matters. Yoga gives you the tools to help you change. There’s a good chance you will begin feeling better on your first attempt.  You may also notice that the more you commit to practice, the more you benefit.

Practicing yoga provides great results. You get involved in your own care; you discover that your involvement gives you the power to affect change; and envisioning that change can give you hope and hope itself can be healing.

In short, yoga encourages overall health and wellness.  I encourage you to start thinking about beginning a yoga practice.  Your options can be finding a venue to  train locally or obtaining beginner DVD/CDs.