Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Those who have been following by blog know that I am a yogini: a female yogi, or yoga practitioner. As such, this study demonstrating the benefits of yoga in reducing inflammation, stress and aging caught my eye. I thought others would find it interesting, too. This study looked at yoga, but i believe similar results and benefits would be found with tai qi and qi gong (literally 'qi work' or energy work/cultivation: yoga is a qi gong exercise).
I recently ran across some old "Yoga Journal" articles showing the benefits of restorative yoga for chronic illness, AIDS and auto immune disorders. Restorative yoga are relaxation poses requiring little to no muscle work, so that one lies in the pose for an extended period of time (5-10min. The idea is to put the body in a deep state of relaxation in order to rest and strengthen the immune system which is debilitated in chronic illness. In "Quantum Healing" Deepak Chopra discusses Ayurveda medicine (ancient Indian medicine developed by the vedics (sage doctors of the Hindu and yoga traditions: includes herbal, dietary and hot oil massage treatments). One the cardinal aims of Ayurveda treatment is to induce a deep state of relaxation so that the weak immune system can gather strength and activate itself. In the book he cites examples of cancer patients from his clinical practice who have achieved what traditional doctors call 'spontaneous' remissions (meaning medically unexplained) by using these practices to induce the healing response.
I highly recommend the book Relax and Renew about restorative yoga poses and sequences that anyone can do, regardless of physical condition or yoga experience (also included on the recommended reading list on this blog). For experienced yogis i would add Shoulder Stand (10-20min), Headstand 5-10min) and Halasana (5min). KB