National Geographic reported on several studies that show the healing effect of regular yoga practice on a number of medical problems. More than 20-million people practice yoga in the U.S.
Poses such as sun salutation and downward dog, increase flexibility and strength, that help people with various pain syndromes. Inflammation is reduced, leading to improvement in chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
In one study, 200 breast cancer survivors attended twice weekly 90-minute yoga class, and were encouraged to practice at home with DVDs. This controlled study found significant differences in the group that practiced yoga, from the control group that did not. The yoga group reported less fatigue and increased vitality three months after the study ended.
The challenge is always what will help people sustain the practice? As with any positive change in healthy behaviors, the tendency is to slip back into old patterns. Despite improvements in health, many people find it difficult to keep up healthy habits.
In yoga therapy, we explore how to integrate the practices into life, in such a way that they will stick. Making time for yourself on a regular basis is key to lasting change. What are the obstacles to continued practice? Often the demands of life, such as children, housekeeping, work, and relationships, take priority. It is important to understand the inner obstacles as well. Do you value yourself enough to make time for a regular yoga practice? Does guilt about taking time for yourself play a role? I