Healing modalities, sometimes called “alternative medicine,” are no longer unpopular in western culture. These therapeutic techniques can be the catalyst for ideal fitness, relaxation, and transformation.
All healing modalities believe in a holistic approach to health. Holistic approach means providing support that looks at the whole person, not just his physical needs. To ensure optimal fitness, it takes everything into account; physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing.
Yoga As A Healing Modality
Before diving into the healing properties and physical and spiritual benefits of yoga, one must completely understand what yoga is. This healing modality has its origin in Sanskrit and literally translates to ‘unification’ or more accurately, ‘unification between mind and body.’
There are times when the duality between mind and body is far more striking than usual, times when the mind dreams of anything and everything. Still, the body remains too tired to follow or exert suitable efforts to manifest those dreams.
We hear about universal and particular propositions in philosophy, but yoga binds the two together in such harmony that the universal becomes part of the particular, and the particular ends up flowing into the universal.
Inculcating Awareness And Conscious Fitness
Yoga is a holistic approach towards health and wellbeing because there are multiple schools of thought specifically pertaining to yoga, each focusing on a different domain; mental, physical, or spiritual.
For now, let us talk about how yoga assists us in the spiritual domain. With each yogic pose, we inch closer to an unspoken yet deeply felt harmony between the mind, body, and spirit. This, in turn, cultivates awareness, and not just of where we are but of who we are. We are able to ponder on these questions without being overwhelmed by them or crushed under their weight. We dive into the depths of our consciousness and come back enlightened.
On closer inspection, we realize the little ways in which we relinquish control with each of our yogic poses. Instead of simply getting rid of everything negative that we’ve felt, we choose first to understand those emotions, to realize that there will always be things in this world that we cannot control, such as the attitudes of those around us. In the middle of this frightening thought, that there is so little in our control, we continue to hold our yogic pose as a reminder that, at least, we will always be in control of ourselves.
In the modern world, people struggle more with mental illness. Those who are anxious, especially, face difficulty when trying to stop themselves from overthinking. After cultivating awareness and relinquishing control, yoga practitioners focus on the more demanding physical poses. This leads to a rigorous session, breaks the cycle of overthinking, and allows practitioners to retreat into their now quietened minds and truly explore them as though for the first time.
Interpretation of yogic poses
All yogic poses carry a certain meaning behind them. Let’s talk about the most common one. The Virabhadrasana or Warrior Pose is symbolic of waging war against ignorance and, in this case, self-ignorance. The warrior poses activate the core muscles and represent the inner courage and strength needed to thrive in everyday life.
Similarly, the Vrkshasana or Tree Pose is a fluid representation of balance. While the feet are to remain rooted in this pose, the upper body is free to sway like the branches of a tree. This helps to establish fitness, balance and allows one to stand firm in the face of malicious and deviant forces in this world.
The aforementioned healing modalities are spiritual and mental aspects of yoga. Let us turn our attention to the physical benefits of this meditation. Our fitness takes a hit because of the busy schedules that we are required to engross ourselves in. Yoga becomes a necessity if we are to rejuvenate our minds and bodies.
Like other healing modalities, yoga shows improvement in the flexibility and mobility of an individual. While some people may already be athletically gifted, they may still not be very flexible in their movements. In their initial classes, they may find it difficult to touch their toes or hold complex yoga poses, but over time, their stiffened muscles loosen up, and their bodies become flexible and adaptable. This is also linked to a significant reduction in muscle aches and joint pains.
Gym enthusiasts either focus too much on cardio or weight lifting but with yoga, you are getting the best of both worlds. Those focusing too much on cardio lack muscle fitness, and those who concentrate too much on muscle strength lack the proper flexibility. Yoga, once again, promotes a holistic approach to fitness and maintains a healthy ratio between muscle strength and elasticity.
Do you find yourself stopping over your notebook or your laptop a bit too much whenever you sit down to work? Have back pains become a constant nuisance in your life? All this is likely the result of an incorrect posture which causes you to hunch over instead of standing straight. Luckily for you, an additional benefit of this healing modality is that it perfects your posture since practitioners have to learn the poses very closely to get them right and, in doing so, they end up providing a great service to their future selves by fixing their postures. Trust me, the sight of a slumped-over seventy-year-old man with a stick, is not a pretty one.
Learning to use your full range
Ever notice how your right hand is so much stronger than your left? Holding a basketball with your right hand feels like child’s play, whereas holding the same ball with your left gets increasingly difficult by the minute. This tells us that not all joints and cartridges in our body are exercised the same, meaning that some of them stay dormant for hours! Yogic poses take us through the full range of motion of these joints and cartridges to ensure that they remain in business without showing any signs of wear and tear. For example, arthritis, one of the most common illnesses that targets joints, can be cured by practicing yoga. Fitness experts recommend Naukasana (boat pose) to treat arthritis and osteoporosis.
Bone health is of utmost importance. That is why doctors always reiterate the importance of calcium because it predominantly helps maintain good bone health. Yoga does this too but in a slightly different modality. Take, for instance, the downward-facing dog and the upward-facing dog pose. Both of these bring the bones in your arm into play and strengthen them. Yoga is also known to control cortisol (a primary stress hormone) in the human body and help regulate the amount of calcium stored in the bones. Your blood flow also increases because of specific relaxation exercises such as the headstand and shoulder stand, both of which are inverted poses.
Natural Immunity Boost
The benefits of yoga are endless, but to end our study on a high note, we will look at a few more before signing off. We believe everyone should practice yoga, especially in these tiring and turbulent times with the COVID-19 pandemic on the rise. But why? Simply because yoga is known to boost immunity. It incorporates poses that speed up lymph drainage. This boosts the immune system and increases the quantity of white blood cells, which help fight against infections and pathogens. Furthermore, for those struggling with high blood pressure, the corpse pose has been documented to lower the systolic rates of individuals, bringing their blood pressure closer to equilibrium.
Since all yogic poses involve meditation and sound breathing, they become natural means by which individuals can relieve stress, promote optimal fitness, and reveal themselves of their mental troubles. The unity of mind, body, and spirit is one for the ages, and the benefits of yoga are indeed unparalleled. Please feel free to check out yoga practitioners on our site.