Knowledge is power, the age-old adage states. But is it really?
We may know a lot about health and wellness and how to be happy but do we always do them? Is it a challenge to be consistent in your efforts towards health, wellness, and happiness? Have you ever considered the fact that yoga can be a form of medicine?
Timothy McCall, M.D. wrote in his book Yoga as Medicine: “As someone who has been an MD for over twenty years, I can tell you that yoga is quite simply the most powerful system of overall health and well-being I have ever seen. Even if you are currently among what might be called the temporarily healthy, as preventive medicine, yoga is as close to one-stop shopping as you can find. This single comprehensive system can reduce stress, increase flexibility, improve balance, promote strength, heighten cardiovascular conditioning, lower blood pressure, reduce overweight, strengthen bones, prevent injuries, lift mood, improve immune function, increase the oxygen supply to the tissues, heighten sexual functioning and fulfillment, foster psychological equanimity, and promote spiritual well-being….and that’s only a partial list” (emphasis added). These physical benefits start to translate into mental, emotional and spiritual benefits.
When we start to bring our bodies, minds and spirits into alignment with one another (see previous post), it becomes infinitely easier to act on our beliefs and values and shed the unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that no longer serve us. For example, as someone who always thought that only extreme exercise counted as “exercise,” I would take a black and white attitude towards my physical activity. This involved many triathlons and marathons and I got sick, exhausted and burnt out. As I started to do yoga, I was able to accept that there are many forms of physical activity and that there’s no one right answer. My mind was able to shift, allowing me the space to adopt healthier attitudes around my wellbeing.
Yoga allows us to walk our talk and honor the bodies that are allowing us to do yoga, yes, and also experience all of life’s beautiful ups and downs, joys and sorrows, peaks and valleys. We come into relationship with ourselves and our Divinity and this, after all, is what we came here to do.