What is Medical Yoga Therapy
Yoga has seen an increase in both lay people & healthcare's interests. More recently science has been on the topic of how yoga may be used in conjunction with other types of therapy. Medical Yoga Therapy is a line of modalities that has been approved by medical researchers that it has significant percentage of facilitating both healing of the mind & body through learning how to induce self relaxation & promote increased/ improved well- being. Yoga has not changed for thousands of years & chances are, they're still practised the same way it has been before. One thing to note that while some of "yoga stuffs" that one will be exposed to are still not being accepted in the mainstream medical industry, due to insufficient statistics from research. Some say science is behind, some says only science can prove if it's safe & effective, & we have some that believe you don't have to wait for science to validate a validity of a topic if you can experience an improved lifestyle and wellbeing. Whatever you believe in & think of it, Yoga is here to stay & with a very high likelihood of being in mainstream medical care system as some countries are already adapting it with doctors prescribing yoga as therapy.
Is Medical Yoga Therapy only for Medical reason
People from all walks of life can benefit from a simple class of medication to learn how to regulate breath, to help with bringing your body to rest & digest. Our body is constantly in fight or flight mode & hardly in rest & digest due to environmental stress that we never get to realise until someone points it out to you. A few simple example of this may have you notice how you interact with the environment & have you be aware of how it affects you as a whole. This are some fo the examples:
Our senses are constantly bombarded & over stimulated without rest from the moment we wake up till we sleep, thus on days we need to wake up, we feel tired despite the fact that you have had more than 8 hours of sleep. Music/ vibrations still reaches to us despite being deep asleep, we are just less or not aware of it but our body is constantly aware of everything.That's why sometimes when you suddenly wake up from a deep sleep thinking someone either came in the door or calling your name, you surprise yourself by waking up in an instant. Signages as well are everywhere, promoting an endless "needs" & wants that we actually don't, creating a never enough feeling & restlessness in our mind which would eventually manifest into our physical bodies, creating a whole hosts of other health conditions that specialists can't figure out how to treat.
Can anyone do Yoga?
While most yoga classes are safe for everyone, the different postures in a class for your body may not be ideal if you have a current medical condition such as(list is not an exhaustive list) degeneration of the joint(s), inflammation fo the joints/ muscles, Scoliosis, Bursitis, Vertigo & so on. There are special classes to ensure that special care is taken to align, modify to encourage a reduction in inflammation & improved body structure(posture). You need to speak to the yoga teacher to see if they know how to modify/ deal with your conditions as fixing a medical condition(s) with a fitness routine is never a good idea.
What about Mental Health?
This is an upcoming trend that is sad to see a steep incline of statistics all over the world. As subtle as it is, 1 out of 5 people have mental disorders. Which means that all of us would know at least one person in every different circle of friends, family or an acquaintance. However, more people are shining light to this ever silent killer that goes unnoticed & taken as some would say, a "joke". Depression or any form of mental disorder usually goes unnoticed because social norms is not about talking how your day was/ is or how you are feeling that day & so on. We have been made quite robotic, feeling lesser & feel like we can't express ourselves to the extent that we want to. Work, relationship, money, & self acceptance are just some of the usual things that gets in the way of our heads, & mindfulness activities are such a need. A need to learn how to be happy with what we have and not have any attachments to money, happy with a relationship(if not move on), learn how to accept yourself, learn to love in whatever you do, as if you would have more love in everything you do from moment to moment, everything seems to be experienced in such a pleasant experience with time being secondary. Avid meditation practitioners or teachers would be able to set you up quickly & anywhere with just you and yourself to start with the session. Many of us needs constant noise to feel safe, big crowds to feel connected, moving objects and bright lights to feel life, but we hardly ever learn if not be able to just sit down with doing nothing but to enjoy a breath or two without any disruptions whatsoever. While yoga is not a medical substitute for mental disorder(s), it is entirely safe for anyone who thinks you can learn how to slow your mind down, learn to find stillness amidst all the movement around you, & learn how to observe your thoughts & clear your mind of clutters.
What poses in Yoga may be dangerous in a bad class?
Unless you have years of experience, nope.
Just like TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine), Ayurvedic is a system of medicine approach to the whole being instead of trying to rid of the disease. Ayurvedic medicine compromises of a wider holistic approach that includes, Asanas, Meditation, Diet, & lifestyle modifications. This topic itself will not be discussed in details here in this article as it is another system to learn & explain in clear details, & it is out of this articles's scope of discussion.
How Yoga is aligned with movement science
With movements in a yoga class, you can expect to go through a Sun Salutation, moving the body in angles that promotes extension and stretching of your muscles with proper alignments of your posture & breath awareness. A typical asana class will have you bend forward which stretches your fascia in the posterior chain, extending your arms & standing erect which promotes the fascia of the anterior chain to stretch, & your arms, legs & core will be gently challenged to provide stronger / toner arms and abs with your deep stabilisers worked. From your toes, ankles, knees, hips, & working up to the base of your skull, to the ends of your fingertips, your whole body will be encouraged to work by stretching and engaging them via mindful movements.
Doing regular Yoga classes or sessions will allow you to have a better aligned posture, improve the state of relaxation through mindful awareness, & increase your overall well being.
If you have any medical condition(s) that has been diagnosed by the medical doctor(s), & am looking for an alternative way of reducing inflammation & pain, look for someone who is either trained in sub specialities in Yoga for special conditions, or get an approved Medical Yoga Approved trained individuals to ensure a productive, fun and safe environment for yourself.