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More than a stretch: Yoga’s benefits may extend to the heart
About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
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Your columns on Yoga are very interesting to me, a certified yoga teacher. I wish to mention that scientific studies have proven yoga as effective. Controlled clinical studies have been underway for several decades especially in India, the home of Yoga. This is despite the fact that the yoga system of health care has been in existence for several millennia with enormous amounts of therapeutic evidence about its efficacy. Medical journals such as JAMA, The Lancet, British Medical Journal, New England Journal of Medicine and many others have published research papers underscoring the benefits of yoga practices for both physical and mental ailments not just in a placebo-like manner, but in statistically significant scales. I have a few volumes of outcomes of dozens of controlled studies in yoga therapy undertaken by the Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, stressing that yoga is more consciousness-based rather than matter-based. Wellness and robust health can be promoted naturally and health care costs can be rationalized. I see however, considerable circumspection in taking it on board even where clinical evidence is unambiguous about its advantages in issues such as cardiac illnesses, diabetes, mental depression, stress management and many others. Medical practice can only be so much richer and so much more successful by accepting yogic techniques.
Anytime is a good time to practice yoga. Yes, you can do it before going to bed.
When is the best time to practice yoga? Can I do it before going to bed?
Julie Corliss! Great article.
Warmed my heart (pun intended) to read, “there’s nowhere to go, and nothing to do.”
As was pointed out Chandra Rangnath, yoga has four limbs. Hatha yoga by itself is only one limb. The key to all the learning and the practice is the correct way of delivery and learning. Doing body postures is to make sure your body is not in the way of meditation.
I would strongly suggest looking into the following link, ishayogafoundation.org. As a physician, I would say we are only beginning to scientifically understand the benefits of yoga. Needless to say we are only skimming the surface.
Hatha yoga and Iyengar yoga are both names for the four ‘limbs’ of Patanjali maharishi’s eight-fold practise (called the ‘asthaanga’ – eight limbs) , viz ‘aasana’ (the postures), ‘pranaayama’ (control of the breath), ‘dhaarana’ (concentration) and ‘dhyaana’ (meditation). However, yoga practise is fully effective only when the other ‘limbs’ of the asthaanga are integrated with our exercises and mediation, viz having pure thoughts, keeping the body clean, being contented, restraint in sense-pleasures, study of sacred literature and silent repetition of a mantra, if possible. Yes, we can make a start in yoga by doing the exercises, controlled breathing and silent sitting…but to reap the full benefit, the other do’s and dont’s should be gradually embraced (or shall I say, the other limbs will present themselves to the sincere practitioner quite naturally ! ).
Amen to that!
Excellent article! As a certified yoga instructor and a registered nurse, I have experienced firsthand the benefits of yoga for physical and emotional health. It’s extremely therapeutic when taught correctly. Thank you for the wonderful article.
I’m not much into reading, but somehow I got to read many articles in your webpage. It’s fantastic how interesting it is for me to visit you very often.
Look quite useful,would like to join the easy yoga /meditation for mental relaxation and physical fitness.I am 65years of age,what is your suggestion
Google Iyengar yoga in your area. It is especially good for older people. The use of props allow anyone to do the pose even if they have limited flexibility. As you become more flexible over time the props are adjusted.
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