Since before the Vedic tradition was committed to writing thousands of years ago, yoga has inspired the hearts of human beings to reach beyond their limitations toward the fulfillment of their divine capacity. From the primeval past yoga calls us to investigate who we are, why we are here and where are we going as a species. The shining record of ancient yoga rings with the vibration that summons the human race to full maturity. Today, we, their descendants are pushing the long evolution of yoga into many exciting and novel manifestations. Yoga therapy is one of those manifestations.
For those of you not familiar with the term, yoga therapy is the use of yoga to directly deal with all kinds of disease conditions. Of course, this new emphasis on the direct therapeutic use of yoga is a natural progression of how yoga has been used since prehistoric times to build superior health for body and mind and set us on a course to realize our unlimited potential.
Not only is yoga therapy changing the face yoga, but it is stepping up to take its place as one of the preeminent healing modalities in the world today. New York physician, Loren Fishman says that without yoga, “I’d lack the most interesting, least expensive and most helpful and versatile form of treatment that I have.” (The Science of Yoga by William Broad 2012 p.148)
As many people know, all forms of medicine have their limitations. Drugs and surgery have their place. They routinely save lives and make life better for millions. Likewise, the many forms of yoga and its sister science Ayurveda can be applied to relieve chronic pain, extend and improve quality of life, and in many cases heal the human body in ways that defy modern medicine.
Personally, I’ve used my yoga/meditation practice to rid myself of the dreadful inflammatory digestive disorder, Crohn’s Disease, and depression, not to mention a raft of potentially debilitating injuries. My first application of yoga was for chronic back pain in 1994. In two weeks the back pain was gone without drugs or surgery. Since that early discovery of yoga’s healing power I committed myself to yoga practice and haven’t looked back. At 61, people still guess me to be in my forties. My current state of health is the product of a twenty year yoga practice.
As healthcare costs continue to spiral beyond the reach of many, yoga’s inexpensive, time-tested methods offer a shining opportunity for human kind to be not only healthy but transcendent.
Yoga therapy is poised to become a major dynamic force in the effort to treat addiction, heart disease/hypertension, obesity, diabetes, depression, cancer, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and a myriad other scourges of human kind.
Yoga therapy is not in competition with modern medicine; it is a compliment. At times yoga therapy will act as an adjunct to medicine; at other times it will lead the way. The point is that we now have an emerging field of treatment and healing that empowers people to care for their bodies in ways they have not dreamed possible.