How Can You Afford Not To? | iHanuman


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How Can You Afford Not To?

In a teacher training application recently, the participant stated that she had expressed concern to her first yoga teacher about the time and money involved in taking yoga, saying that she didn't think she could afford to do it. Her teacher responded, "You can't afford NOT to!" After more than 5 years of yoga she wholeheartedly agrees!
Those of us who have been practicing mind-body disciplines like yoga, meditaion, and relaxation know first hand what wonderful physical, mental and spiritual benefits we receive. It's very exciting to see that science is validating what we've known all along. I recently reviewed the research in a reference work titled Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide, compiled by The Burton Goldberg Group.
The Yoga Biomedical Trust was established in 1983 in England to promote the practice and research of the therapeutic potentials of yoga. One project curveyed 3,000 yoga practitioners, among which the following percentages of people reported improvedments in their health conditions that they attributed to yoga:
Back pain 98%
Arthritis 90%
Anxiety 94%
Migraines 80%
Insomnia 82%
Menstrual Problems 68%
Premenstrual tension 77%
Menopause disorders 83%
Asthma or Bronchitis 88%
Diabetes 80%
Duodenal Ulcers 90%
Although this type of self-reported survey does not qualify as "hard scientific evidence," these are remarkable findings, which explain why so many people are practicing yoga and sticking with it.
The benefits of yoga for increasing flexibility and strength are well known. The ability to reduce tension and anxiety comes in part from yoga's emphasis on deep, smooth, and regular breathing, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. Less well known but equally important are the benefits to the endocrine system. Yoga stimulates circulation to the various endocrine glands, which secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream to regulate major body processes. For instance, in the shoulder stand, the gravitational forces of being upside down increase the circulation to the thyroid and parathyroid glands in the base of the neck. This increased blood flow is reported to have an influence on regulating the thyroid gland.
Five years ago, I was diagnosed with low thyroid function, and after repeat tests, the doctor recommended thyroid medication. However, I wanted to look first at other options and sought out a yoga teacher experienced in working therapeutically with thyroid issues. Following her recommendations, I increased my time and regularity of shoulder stand, an upside down pose, for a period of four months. When I was retested, my thyroid function was normal and has remained so since then, and I have not needed medication.
It is clear that the benefits of yoga have been and are being validated by science. I invite you to explore some techniques that may be new to you, and attend one of our free sample classes. If you have practiced yoga in the past and have drifted away, I invite you to take a sample class and remember what it is like to feel relaxed, refreshed, energized, and centered. As my friend's first yoga teacher asked, "How can you afford not to?"

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