500 hour hatha yoga teacher certification programBy Sanjeev Patel, CYT 500

As you know, there are as many reasons to teach yoga as there are for students to come to our classes. Not all yoga students want to know about healing or reduce pain in their bodies. Their reason is simple: They are young, fit, and more lucky than they realize. However, each of us will experience suffering of some kind during the course of a lifetime, unless we leave this life in an abrupt flash, while we are in the prime of our lives. 

Benefits and Possibilities 

Practicing yoga has many health benefits. These benefits not only include a more supple and active body but also a more relaxed mind. Yoga teaches us that yogic methods, combined with good nutritional habits, and exercise can be a path to optimum health. A person who practices yoga training is likely to walk more, make wise dietary choices, and be more conscious of monitoring one’s health.

Chronic Stress, Prevention, and the Quality of Life

Stress plays such a large part in illness that anything we can do to reduce stress will improve our overall health. This is a point that many people miss because their lives are filled with chronic anxiety. When we are teaching yoga classes there should be an emphasis that we impart to our students about the outer physical body and also the inner vital organs like the heart and lungs. Shortness of breath, blood pressure, and heart rate, are tools that standard medicine uses as markers to warn us before a serious disease arises. 

Yoga as Adjunct Therapy

When I first heard Paul Jerard refer to Yoga as an adjunct therapy, my preconceived notions of yoga as a proven cure were rattled and my Indian pride was tested. He believes in a yogic lifestyle and walks the talk, but he realizes that yoga will have to endure decades of medical and scientific scrutiny for the sake of proving exactly why it works. At the time, I had not experienced the pleasure of meeting as many skeptics as Paul has.

Yoga teaches us to slow our minds and bodies. When we reach a more relaxed state, our breathing and heart rate lowers and we feel at peace with our surroundings and ourselves. For many people who suffer from chronic illnesses, the benefits of yoga can supplement their treatment plan. For someone with chronic asthma yoga can be used in conjunction with the healthcare plan of his or her physician. For people with heart conditions yoga can be beneficial in lowering blood pressure.

Many people who suffer from chronic pain, such as spine pain or fibromyalgia, can benefit from being taught healing forms of yoga. The simple process of stretching and lengthening muscles can reduce inflammation and lessen the pain of trigger points. The deep breathing relaxation techniques of yoga bring oxygen deeper into the body for natural healing.

Imparting Awareness and Intuition

Teaching yoga as a form of healing teaches an individual how to self heal. When a person is able to relax and breathe deeper they have a greater awareness of their own mind and body. In a sense, a person being taught the benefits of yoga training is moving towards a state of being their own medical intuitive.

The benefits of the meditative state of yoga are well documented. Meditation gives our bodies time to slow down and heal. Healing is a result of self-awareness of what the body needs. When we are practicing Hatha yoga we are focused on our body. We can feel the tensions and stresses in our own muscles and we can focus on healing in a particular area.

Yoga is a discipline, and when it is practiced on a regular basis the different positions and stretches benefit different areas of the body. For an individual with wrist pain, or carpal tunnel syndrome, a study that was published in 1998 by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that individuals who used yoga over a time frame of eight weeks demonstrated marked improvement in their symptoms. This strengthening of the upper body along with the stretching can improve many conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The overall benefits of teaching yoga as a form of healing are well documented. Yoga should always be practiced in conjunction with an individual’s medical plan. Yoga, along with good nutrition, adequate rest and exercise can play an important part in the healing process.

© Copyright 2013 – Sanjeev Patel – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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