Healing through Yoga
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.”— Khalil Gibran.
Healing and self-care is necessary for our journey through life. Each movement and action we take to reach our path is meaningful when done with intention. Therapeutic practices help when we understand the flow of our energy. The flow in our energy influences every system in our body. Yoga therapy is modeled to connect our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being through movements and flowing techniques. It’s not about controlling our body, but for letting go of the negative energy and allowing the positive energy to flow to strengthen overall well-being. I have deeply appreciated the peacefulness and strength in calmness this practice has given me. Throughout my life, I have dealt with severe anxiety and stress to control and know exactly where I need to be. Yoga offered a route to let be and find peace in letting be. It restored a sense of peace. It restored the need to be mindful with every thought, action or word delivered.
Understanding our mind is a powerful tool. My dad would always share with me that “Hum ko man ki shakti dena. Man vijay karen.” This quote is from an old Hindi movie. It shares that it’s important to conquer our own minds before trying to conquer the minds of others. Through yoga therapy, our mind is conquered and our body and spiritual being follows with every intentional movement. The study, Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Efficacy of Iyengar Yoga Therapy on Chronic Low Back Pain, done in 2009, showed that the group involved in yoga resulted in statistically significant reductions in functional disability, pain intensity and depression . Another study concluded that participation in a two-month yoga class can lead to significant reduction in perceived levels of anxiety in women who suffer from anxiety disorders. This study showed that yoga can be considered as a complementary therapy or an alternative method for medical therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders . If we share this technique with women of color and decolonize the “whiteness” associated with yoga, we can use this as a tool to empower, guide and strengthen the resilience of women of color to conquer hurdles.
Historically, yoga has also shown many healing influences. The origination of yoga was in India. In its earliest form, yoga was a practical discipline incorporating techniques for the development of a state of mental and physical health, well-being, inner harmony and, ultimately, an experience involving the union of the human with the universe. The first organized medical application of yoga started in India as early as 1918 at the Yoga Institute near Mumbai . With this start, yoga proliferated in India through hospitals, ashrams and clinics . This led to the emergence of “yoga therapists.” Several studies have shown that both short-term and long-term practice of yoga techniques are associated with a number of physiological and psychological changes, including reductions of basal cortisol and catecholamine secretion, a decrease in sympathetic activity with a corresponding increase in parasympathetic activity, reductions in metabolic rate and oxygen consumption, salutary effects on cognitive activity and cerebral neurophysiology, and improved neuromuscular and respiratory function . All in all, yoga therapy is restorative to every cell in our body. It is a natural remedy for self-preservation.
This blog will continue to delve into the variations of yoga therapy and the beauty that lies in it. Thank you for reading the introduction to yoga therapy! Keep shining and learning.