How Yoga Heals

This is a re-post for those of you who are interested in exploring yoga for your health and wellbeing.


yoga for wellbeing

Thanks to Nancy over at Spirit Lights the Way for sparking some yoga inspiration!

I take a therapeutic approach to my Yoga teaching; focusing on body awareness, mindfulness and the breath. To me its more than a physical work out.

I love this quote from Georg Feuerstein taken from Yoga Gems:
“Beginners on the yogic path would do well to understand correctly what Yoga is all about and to then approach it accordingly.
There is a humorous saying in Yoga circles that Yoga has been reduced to the practice of postures, and that postures have been reduced to stretching, and that stretching has been reduced to lengthening the hamstrings. Authentic Yoga is always a spiritual discipline, even when the focus is on the body, as it is in Hatha Yoga.”

The intention of Yoga is the quieten the mind and connect with our inner spirit, consciousness or higher power. Read more about it on my Yoga page.

In his book “Yoga as Medicine” Dr Timothy McCall shares 40 ways that Yoga (Poses, Breathing and Meditation) heals:

  1. Increases flexibility
  2. Strengthen 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 the tissues
  10. Improves joint health
  11. Nourishes intervertebral discs
  12. Improves return of venous blood
  13. Increases circulation of lymph
  14. Improves circulation of the feet
  15. Improves proprioception (awareness of body in space)
  16. Increases control of bodily functions
  17. Strengthens bones
  18. Conditions the cardiovascular system
  19. Promotes weight loss
  20. Relaxes the nervous system and reduces anxiety
  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 muscle gripping
  32. Uses imagery to effect change in the body
  33. Relieves pain
  34. Lowers need for medication
  35. Fosters healthier relationships
  36. Improves psychological health and mood
  37. Leads to healthier habits
  38. Fosters spiritual growth
  39. Elicits the placebo effect
  40. Encourages involvement in your own healing

This list still wows me!

If you are young – there is every reason in the world to start now. Do it!

If you are in Mid life – it isn’t too late. I started yoga in my 40’s and it changed my life. This is where I find my middle ground every day.
Find a studio and a teacher that you can relate to and feel supported by. A word of caution here. Not every Yoga offered in classes is the same. Unless you are an athlete, avoid Vinyasa or Power Yoga.

Even if you are elderly and have a number of health and physical issues, finding an experienced trained teacher with a therapeutic approach can lead to a more active and healthy life… and a sense of peace and wellbeing.

yoga heals

So many people try Yoga in gyms these days. Please be careful as the focus is usually on having a physical workout. In my experience the instructors may not be as experienced, there is less personal attention and less time for relaxation and mindfulness.

For me, Yoga is about balance, alignment and inner peace. Finding balance and peace in our lives and alignment of our mind body and spirit… on and off the mat.


57 thoughts on “How Yoga Heals

  1. Yoga is such a key piece to my living practice. And yes, yes, it is not just a workout. I spent most of my first years practicing at a Krishna temple that held evening classes. What a wonderful place to begin where your ‘beingness’ and your breath were as much a part of the practice as the poses. Even now, when I fit in a class over at our rec center, my mind travels through those earlier habits, even as the class continues on hoping to break a sweat. Such a difference that focus makes.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yoga has definitely improved this ‘older’ body. πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t be as healthy and happy, and it enables me to garden without pain. I have a great teacher who encourages us to see it a personal practice that we happen to do in a group. We just moved to the local library which has a round marble foyer and the (feng shui?) energy was so noticeable that several remarked about it. Talk about the energy of a group – we fairly float out of there after class. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

    • Diana, yes I am truly fortunate to love what I do – and get the opportunity to bring what I bring to my yoga students and coaching clients. When we nurture each other it feels so good!
      I think you understand this too πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yoga has always been about balance for me, the mat helps me find my priorities and a happy side benefit has been finding peace that I didn’t know was missing! I truly love that I found a class that fills me! I always wanted to do yoga, and I knew I was a yogi, but it took many years and many attempts to find the path and teacher I was meant for. And I truly believe it all happened when it was supposed to for me! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve always liked Yoga because it felt good to “stretch.” I had attended a few classes that were slower, and the instructor talked a lot, which was fine, but I had always thought of it as more relaxing; although I always felt better afterward. Then I attended a class in my home town at a place called “The Yoga Place,” and it changed my perspective. It is a constant flow, concentrates on the breath, and meditation the whole shabang, and I LOVE it! I was doing a little home practice for a while, bc getting to the studio is difficult with four kids, but I lose motivation. Any suggestions on staying motivated when practicing at home? πŸ™‚ I do want to go to the studio more regular when I can make time for it!

    Liked by 4 people

    • So glad you have your connection to yoga and have found a connection. Home practice isn’t easy as there needs to be an inspiration. What inspires you? Creating a space dedicated to yoga? A particularity teacher on YouTube perhaps? Music? Being with others so there is a sense of belonging? All of these are important. Good luck in exploring where you did inspiration πŸ™

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for responding. Yes, I did create a space for myself and it definitely helps! In fact it is also what triggered my increased love of plants lol. I’ll have to explore some Yoga teachers on YouTube, I didn’t think of that, thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoy yoga at least once a week and not only does it help restore my body, also my mind! Love the insights of yoga practice into body awareness. Yes, every time I practice, I find where my problem areas are where I need to address them. Love this read.

    Liked by 2 people

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