Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder of www.GreenMedInfo.com
Modern science now confirms why humans have been practicing yoga since the beginning of recorded history: it is good both for the body and mind.
There is evidence in the archeological record that yoga has been practiced by humans for at least 5,000 years. Whereas this would constitute sufficient evidence for most folks to consider it a practice with real health benefits, as its millions of practitioners widely claim, skeptics say otherwise. They require any activity deemed to be of therapeutic value run the gauntlet of randomized, controlled clinical trials before it is fully accepted within the conventional medical system.
This tendency towards scientism in medicine, or what some call medical monotheism, runs diametrically opposed to the standards of lived-experience – so called "subjectivity" – or anecdotal experience (learning from the experience of others) which is what the majority of the world uses to determine if something has value, or is worth doing or not.
Yoga, of course, is no longer exclusively practiced by a particular religious group. It is considered a form of low-impact exercise and stress-reduction, and is estimated to be practiced by 20 million people in the US alone. This burgeoning interest among Westerners happens to be why so much human clinical research has now been performed on yoga. The US National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database shows that in 1968, seven studies were published on yoga. This year, there have been over 250. So much research, in fact, has accumulated that even systematic reviews of the literature have now been published.
Take a recently published systematic review in the Clinical Journal of Pain where an evaluation of ten randomized controlled trials found patients with chronic low back pain found "short-term effectiveness and moderate evidence for long-term effectiveness of yoga for chronic low back pain."[i]
The meta-analysis sits comfortably on the top of the pyramid of truth of "evidence-based" medicine. Once confirmation has occurred at these heights, few can accuse such an intervention of "quackery" without indicting the very holy grail of modern medicine itself.
So, what other human clinical research now confirms the value of yoga in the prevention and treatment of disease? We have found evidence supporting the use of yoga in as many as 70 distinct disease categories, all of which can be viewed on our Yoga Health Benefits page, and with 7 listed below:
Nonetheless, it is clear that yoga has come of age. Ancient wisdom is finding renewed confirmation by men and women in lab coats, who themselves could stand to loosen up and throw down a sun salutation or two. Considering the aforementioned "scientific research" available today, they might now be more inclined to do so.
“Vedic Thai Massage – Assisted Yoga is love. It is a sacred offering, a conscious contribution to self-realization and soul revelation, the goal and purpose of life. With deliberate and skillful intentions of joyful communication, Thai-Yoga massage produces profound pleasure and inspiring tranquility physically and psychologically by replacing old, restricted energy patterns within the body/spirit. Socially revered as a medical folk art, it is commonly reported to revitalize and balance cerebral (emotional) and somatic (physical) ailments instantly. This dignified and communally-cherished art parallels in sophistication results obtained by other modern medical options. Aesthetically pleasing and highly recommended, Thai-Yoga bodywork enhances the quality of living by opening congested chakras (dormant reservoirs of bio-spiritual power) and clearing nadis (electro-magnetic meridian pathways), Nuad Borarn is one of the Original Matriarchs of healing. Its distinction is true in its value of producing dynamic well-being and serenity.” - Mukti (Michael Buck)
Vedic Thai Massage-Assisted Yoga is traditionally performed on a large comfortable cotton futon floor mat which gives the receiver both comfort and full-body support. Working on the floor also allows the therapist to move freely around and above the client, making for effective use of the therapist’s bodyweight and mechanics. The therapist can also work with the receiver in a variety of positions, including prone, supine, side-lying, and seated.
In a Vedic Thai Massage-Assisted Yoga session you will wear loose-fitting or stretchy clothing that allows your body to move.No oils are needed. The techniques used work far beneath the surface of the body, effecting the deeper layers of the muscles and skeleton.
Treatments are routinely modified to include sensitivities addressing acute and chronic conditions, including: herniated disks, subluxations, muscle strain, joint replacements, surgeries, and pregnancy.
The Thai-Yoga Therapist doesn’t just use the power of their hands and fingers. They use their hands, their fingers, their palms, arms, knees, and feet, along with the reciever’s body weight and their resistance to provide a deeply moving experience. The Thai-Yoga Therapist enters into a meditative awareness adapting every asana stretch and technique to the client’s exact need, whether soft or strong.
Please visit Heart Stream Yoga's website www.HeartStreamYoga.com or call (907) 474-8108 for more information!
Affirmation: Salutations to the Sun, to the awakening light within, and to the expansion of higher consciousness and higher thinking!
Cardio in yoga?? That's right baby!! You can't just stretch cold muscles and expect them to relax! You can't just start mobbing around in your old Chevy truck in 40 below either. Make sense? Now don't be put off, you're not going for a jog here. You are literally saluting that giant ball of fire in the sky with your body saying, "What's up Sun!? I am awake! I am alive! I am a reflection! I am a light too! I am pure consciousness! Thank you for bringing that heat! Woop WOOP!!" In silence of course ;-)
Your body is indeed your spirit's vehicle and there are no auto-starts for these fine tuned machines. The following is a little introduction to The Alaskan Yogi's cardio, also known as Surya Namaskar, or The Sun Salutation. Remember your yoga ABC's and have fun with it!
A. Make sure your body is in ALIGNMENT. Engage your core muscles. Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down. Press into all four corners of your feet. Stabilize and center your head between your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide. Place your shoulders over your wrists and hands and your hips over your knees.
B. Focus on your BREATH. Inhale on the upward movements and exhale on the downward movements.
C. CONSCIOUSNESS is key. If it hurts don't force it. Be CONSCIOUS of your ALIGNMENT and your BREATH. Be CONSCIOUS of how warm or cold your are. Be kind to your vehicle.
"The Sun Salutation is a graceful sequence of twelve positions performed as one continuous exercise. Each position counteracts the one before, stretching the body in a different way and alternately expanding and contracting the chest to regulate the breathing. Practiced daily, preferably at the beginning of your regular practice, it will bring great flexibility to your spine and joints and trim your waist. It limbers up the whole body in preparation for the Asanas (postures)." Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers
Health Benefits of The Sun Salutation:
One round of Sun Salutation consists of two sequences, the first leading with the right foot in positions 4 and 9, the second leading with the left. Keep your hands in one place from positions 3 to 10 and try to co-ordinate your movements with your breathing. Start by practicing four rounds and gradually build up to twelve rounds.
"Cast away all negative thoughts and fears. If your will is yoked to wisdom, you can achieve anything."