Did you know you can dispel stress and restore positive energy to your entire body with yoga? In fact, the Sanskrit word “yoga” means union or integration, and practicing it does just that.
Yoga makes real physical changes happen in your body. It helps to down-regulate the activity of an over-stressed sympathetic nervous system and discharges the stress hormones that can make us sick. Over the years I’ve seen yoga help numerous patients with their cardiovascular health, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, lower back problems, arthritis, and even digestion.
Yoga also connects with your body’s energy systems. Its focus on breathing, gentle stretching, and clearing the mind connects you with the vital life-force energy the Chinese call Chi (pronounced “chee”). In fact, bio-energetic psychotherapy harnesses the power of yoga to address muscular tension, or body armoring that has arisen from long-standing, suppressed emotional conflicts, also referred to as “energy blocks.”
Both yoga and bioenergetic psychotherapy improve the flow of energy head-to-toe, particularly in places where your body’s energy is stagnant. For example, heart disease patients often have energy blockages in their chests, resulting in shallow breathing. Increasing energy flow requires breathing fully and deeply, which is something yoga can help to accomplish.
I know some of you already do yoga, but even if you don’t it’s never too late to start. I recommend looking for a yoga class in your community, preferably seeking out one for beginners. Plus, here are some yoga poses you can try at home. You’ll want to start gently, and work your way up as you get stronger and more flexible.
I also invite you to join me at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health this summer. I’ll be there June 28–30, 2013, leading my third weekend workshop and yoga retreat about energy medicine. The program I’ll be leading is called “Yoga and the Heart: A Cardiologist’s Perspective on Ancient and Modern Healing.” I’ll be demonstrating bio-energetic exercises. There will also be yoga sessions with Thai massage and Kripalu-trained yoga practitioner Liza Dousson. Plus our daughter, Kristin DeMarco Pancavage, a certified yoga instructor, will also be contributing to the workshop.
During this weekend I will also be sharing insights from my latest book, The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease—and the Statin-Free Plan That Will. We will also explore the phenomenology around the near death experience, or NDE, which is the subject of my upcoming book.
Additionally, I will discuss the health benefits of Earthing (also called grounding) and energy/vibrational medicine. We’ll talk about which frequencies are harmonious and healing to the body, and which ones can be disruptive—and even toxic—such as those emitted by high-tech devices such as cordless phones, cellular phones, and Wi-Fi.
I have also set aside two hours on Sunday morning for a question and answer session for attendees before we do our closing. While I won’t be able to give complex answers to individual medical concerns, I love to field general health-related questions. They usually apply to many in the audience in addition to the person asking the question.
Now it’s your turn: Is yoga helping you with your health?