You Said: Reader Comments on Yoga as HealingWhen I first started practicing yoga, it was a lifeline for me. I'd recently moved to a new city, started a new job and painfully ended a long relationship. I was really looking a spiritual center that would take me out of my body and my head so I could find a few moments of peace--and healing--each day. What I found was a new foundation for my workout regimen. I found myself shifting more and more of my time away from the treadmill and kickboxing classes and into the yoga studio. In the studio where I practiced, there was a big eyehook in the ceiling--I have no idea what for. I can remember every time we moved into triangle pose my eyes and my arm would search for that little circle, and I would visualize threading my fingers through it, an anchor I could use to pulling myself above all the drama in my life. When I'm stressed now, I still turn to yoga for that sense of calm. And I still visualize that eyehook in the ceiling, an unwavering point of strength I can hang on to.
New York, NY
Yoga has made a tremendous impact on my health. I have had been diagnosed with asthma since I have been 2 years old ( I am now 36).
When I had reached 28, my asthma was so incredibly bad that I was in the hospital at least 2 times a month and going through 3 inhalers per month. My doctor suggested that I look into yoga for breathing techniques. Within a year I was only using 1 inhaler every 3 months. I had also incorporated bellydance with my yoga practice. Never in my life did I feel this good!
I have been practicing yoga for over a year now and I am amazed at the impact it has had on all aspects of my life. The most noticeable area of change is that I am no longer suffering from chronic anxiety. Before practicing yoga, I was having IBS-type symptoms that I am pretty sure were related to stress and anxiety. I was always fretting and worrying about everything in my life, especially work. It would get so bad that I would have panic attacks over small things and it felt like someone was sitting on my chest.
Yogic breathing and the increased sense of calm and peace that is brought about by a regular yoga practice have really helped me combat anxiety. It's not that I no longer have stress in my life, it's the way I handle it that has changed so much. I attribute that change directly to yoga and I am so grateful.
I used to get the flu once a year, or at least one cold with the change of the seasons. Otherwise, I was very healthy. That was my story for about 30 years. I biked, ran, Nordic skied, and did yoga in between. Then I started a serious yoga practice, developed a sadhana, began aligning my practice with my dosha, and built a home studio. My asana and meditation practice usually lasts 90 minutes a day.
What I've observed is that my immunity is far stronger than it used to be; I caught the same flu that had some of my healthy co-workers sick for three weeks, and bedridden for several days. I was sick for only about 24 hours and worked the entire day, and by the end of the next day I had recovered completely. That was the first time I had been really sick with a common malady in three years.