‘Mindful yoga’ as therapy? Try it in 2012 for health’s sake

Just read a great article in Forest Grove News Times about how yoga can ‘help manage symptoms of chronic illness and restore functional capabilities’.  Authors Brant Rogers and Paul Salmon are experts in their field, and have been invited to present their work on mindful yoga for healthcare professionals and teachers at the Spring 2012 Annual Scientific Conference on mindfulness sponsored by the Center for Mindfulness, an affiliate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

They write in today’s paper that a common refrain from students coming to class these days is “My doctor says I should practice yoga”. More and more practitioners are recognising how the ancient discipline of yoga can reduce stress, enhances recovery from injury and promotes overall wellness, and many are turning to adaptive forms of yoga as a complement to medical care and therapy.

They go on to relate how well-known surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose syndicated television show is watched by thousands each week, acknowledges that ‘while high-tech biomedical interventions are valuable, they can only do so much. He routinely recommends yoga to patients as a way to enhance recovery and promote wellness’.

What I particularly like about the article is the fact that it talks about more than just the physical dimension of yoga but refers to the many different dimensions that it encompasses, and has identified that those with the most value for professionals and patients alike are grouped under the term ‘mindful yoga’, which emphasizes connection with mindfulness, a meditation-based practice emphasizing moment-by-moment, non-judgmental awareness of life experiences.

They go on to discuss how practicing yoga mindfully can offer several benefits to patients, including ‘enhanced recovery, cultivating openness and curiosity about one’s capacity to heal, fostering awareness of the effects of movement (strength, balance etc.), and enabling better collaboration between patient and healthcare provider through greater awareness and interest’.

A lot more evidence is referenced, all of which show that this practice has the ability to affect our life as a whole. ‘It’s beneficial effects extend beyond fixing what is wrong to enhancing what is right in our inherent and global capacity for healing through heart, mind and body’.  Wow.  Even though I only have a little old yoga studio in Stellenbosch, this sort of article makes me feel part of a much bigger, and extremely powerful, community, and it feels good to read about how all these brainy people are endorsing something that to me has just felt so right all along!

For the full article, go to http://www.forestgrovenewstimes.com/news/story.php?story_id=132563319704985900.



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