What Yoga Can Offer the Afflicted

Yoga’s multifaceted approach to life and health offers restorative energy, hope, strength, and inspiration in times of illness and for those afflicted with an injury, migraines, repetitive strains, or a life-threatening condition.

Life begins with the breath, and breath, of course, is what sustains life. As Alice Hodge, author of Taking Charge of Your Health, points out, yoga is about connecting our inner core with our breath:

“Practicing yoga is what makes me feel the best at this time,” says Hodge, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and has undergone eight surgeries in less than a decade. “I practiced yoga before I was diagnosed with cancer, but it has become a vital part of my life. Yoga has been an immense support emotionally for both my family and me. I go to classes when I can, and at home I rely on the restorative poses to help me sleep. The breathing practices and imagery have guided me through some difficult moments; they’ve also given me strength and a very positive outlook on my life.

A five-year study of the Dean Ornish program shows that heart patients willing to radically change their lifestyle to reduce stress and dietary fat can reverse heart disease and are less likely to need hospital treatment. Patients in the study, who made intensive changes in diet, exercise, stress management, and other lifestyle factors, showed greater reversal of coronary heart disease after five years than after one year.

Source: JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, December 1998.

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