Use yoga to heal the mind and body. I know, you may be groaning as you visualize – someone sitting cross-legged on a mat with the finger and thumb forming a circle, and silently mouthing “OM.” You may be surprised to know that yoga is so much more than challenging postures and a type of meditation. It is a method of healing the mind and body as you gain flexibility and a sense of well-being.
The term yoga refers to several different forms of meditation – each having their own unique exercises and breath control practices. Certain movements within yoga focus on stress release, while others focus specifically on healing from illness, injuries, and disease.
Yoga has a holistic basis that addresses all the pathways of healing – the mental/emotional, the spiritual and the physical body. The postures are the physical aspect of yoga.
The meditation techniques used in yoga, like the meditation taught by Tom Cronin of The Stillness Project, may be exactly the mental therapy you need to achieve solace and peace of mind.
For a very long time, the healthcare field believed that since emotions were not tangible they had no connection to the body’s healing process. However, current scientific research has discovered a powerful link between the mind and body when it comes to healing.
Yoga works with the mind/body connection. It starts with finding points of stress within the body and uses movement and breathing to help the body relax and let go of the stress.
As the body relaxes, stressful emotional entanglements are released, and the body relaxes even more. As the stress dissipates, the production of stress hormones diminishes and healing can begin.
Cortisol, the hormone that is released by the fight or flight response to stress, creates anxiety that causes a rise in blood pressure, a rapid heart beat and other reactions that are damaging to your body when stress becomes chronic.
The state of relaxation that comes with the practice of yoga boosts the body’s immune system, reduces inflammation of the joints and muscles, calms migraine headaches, and insomnia. It is also known to lower cholesterol levels and helps with depression.
Check out Tom Cronin’s The Stillness Project as a possible guide for you on this journey. Once you learn to meditate, you can pair it with yoga and get the best of both mental and physical therapies.