Hatha Yoga for Increased Life Expectancy

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Hatha Yoga for Increased Life Expectancy

yoga trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Could Yoga training help you to live a longer, healthier, and happier life?  Of course, Yoga can do all of these things. Yoga has a proven “track record,” at a time when some countries could afford to be more pro-active about healthcare.

The Washington Post recently ran a story about how the United States has fallen to 42nd place in life expectancy.  Many reasons are given to explain away a country, which spends so much on medical care, falling to 42nd place.

Of course, obesity was named as a factor. According to the Washington Post, “The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy,” said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. “We have the luxury of choosing a bad lifestyle, as opposed to having one imposed on us by hard times.”

Yet, all this talk about fat has brought very little in the way of a concerted effort toward making Americans more health conscious.  Why is only ten percent of the country pro-actively exercising on a steady basis?

Granted, another 35% catch the “exercise bug” for a month or two per year, but that is it.  The majority of Americans have taken a pledge not to exercise for life.  There are some geographic pockets of exercisers, but there are huge areas, where deep fried food is “king” and a heart bypass operation is a “rite of passage.”

So, who is to blame for the negligence toward health? Is it a lack of national healthcare?  The Washington Post also stated: “Chrisopher Murray, from the University of Washington, said improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy.  However, he predicted, the U.S. won’t move up in the world rankings as long as the health care debate is limited to insurance.”

It starts with a pro-active attitude and it comes from the top. Bring back physical education, all American citizens need healthcare (National Health), and there should be more networking between conventional health and Yoga.

Although many Yoga instructors do receive referrals from physicians, there are still many doctors in the US who understand very little about the pro-active lifestyle of a Yoga practitioner or any other alternative health methods.

It is time to network and join forces.  The health of our children and grandchildren is at stake.  Schools, hospitals, physicians, and Yoga teachers, cannot wait another 10 years for the government to “wake up.”  It is time for us to take voluntary action and educate the public about the health benefits of regular Hatha Yoga practice.

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