July 12, 2012

How Yoga Works

You can choose to do Yoga no matter your ability or disability. I'm living proof and personally have seen and experienced changes or should I say transformations in my body and mind since beginning Yoga 7 years ago.

I've had Multiple Sclerosis for 11 years and went from 5 minutes of Yoga per day while disabled to currently 1 hour :30 minutes of a Yoga practice, six days per week.

I was told by a Yoga teacher several years ago, if you can breathe and blink you can exercise. At some point in our lives most of us will hit a medical bump or roadblock. What you choose to do at that time (or before) is up to you. I chose to attack and continue attacking my disease in part with Yoga, actually it's now a part of my life or who I am. It was a process in the beginning to even get started every day and keep going but I committed and now Yoga is what I love to do.

If you have any of the 40 issues presented in this post consult your doctor and with his/her approval start with a beginner Yoga DVD or contact a local studio and ask if the Yoga they teach will help with your issue or issues. Library's have various styles of Yoga DVDs to choose from or you can purchase them on line or in stores for a reasonable price.

From here to the end of 40 Ways Yoga Heals is from the book "Yoga as Medicine, The Yogic prescription for Health and Healing" by Timothy McCall, M.D.

How Yoga Works
Many of Yoga's benefits can be explained in ways that conform with Western ways of knowing. Here are forty ways that yoga facilitates better health, both as prevention and as treatment, that are supported by evidence. While it would have been possible to choose others, the mechanisms of action selected provide a broad overview of how yogic tools including asana (poses), Pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation can improve health.

Yoga is strong Medicine but slow Medicine.

40 Ways Yoga Heals:
1. Increases Flexibility
2.Strengthens Muscles
3. Improves Balance
4. Improves Immune Function
5. Improves Posture
6. Improves Lung Function
7. Leads to Slower and Deeper Breathing
8. Discourages Mouth Breathing
9. Increases Oxygenation of Tissues
10. Improves Joint Health
11. Nourishes Intervertebral Disks
12. Improves Return of Venous Blood
13. Increases Circulation on Lymph
14. Improves Function of the Feet
15. Improves Proprioception
16. Increases Control of Bodily Functions
17. Strengthens Bones
18. Conditions the Cardiovascular System
19. Promotes Weight Loss
20. Relaxes the Nervous System
21. Improves the Function of the Nervous System
22. Improves Brain Function
23. Activates the Left Prefrontal Cortex
24. Changes Neurotransmitter Levels
25. Lowers Levels of the Stress Hormone Cortisol
26. Lowers Blood Sugar
27. Lowers Blood Pressure
28. Improves Levels of Cholesterol and Triglycerides
29. Thins the Blood
30. Improves Bowel Function
31. Releases Unconscious Muscular Gripping
32. Uses Imagery to Effect Change in the Body
33. Relieves Pain
34. Lowers Need for Medication
35. Fosters Healing Relationships
36. Improves Psychological Health
37. Leads to Healthier Habits
38. Fosters Spiritual Growth
39. Elicits the Placebo Effect
40. Encourages Involvement in Your Own Healing

"A wish to be well is part of becoming well." - Seneca

Time to decide, are you happy where you are? If not you are in control to change. Start slow and listen to your body. One Stretch at a Time.

Healthy & Happy,
Yoga Chuck

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