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You Said: Reader Comments on Yoga as Healing

We asked you to share your experience of using yoga for healing or practicing with a specific health condition. Your responses were moving and overwhelming. Here are some of them.

Natalie Comoletti

I have practiced therapeutic yoga for the past 7 years and I can tell you that it is working. All of my clients told me that without any medication, their body healed by its own inherent power. Yoga has changed their lives in a very positive way. --Dr. Pooja,

Since 2002 I've done a lot of yoga. I found some asanas for my body and my soul. But after an accident in October 2003 and one week with a cast on the right leg, I started to know why I do yoga. The injured right ankle was in a terrible condition after cast and four weeks of brace. I started with few exercises and filled my sequence every week with more asanas. After four months I have an ankle in a good condition, better than with physiotherapy. The healing of the ankle was very fine and I could save the total mobility. And all the bad moods and feelings about this accident were gone and with every asana I could do more.

Without yoga my ankle would be stiff and my mood would be sad.

I recently got a pleasant surprise when I visited my eye doctor. Over the past year, my prescription for contact lenses has gone down from @ -4.25 diopters to my newest prescription of -2.75 for my left eye and -2.5 for my right. I was amazed! I have not been doing any specific exercises for my eyes, but I do credit my Yoga practice for some of this improvement. I feel that learning to relax and see with "soft eyes" has really helped as has all the inverted poses (I am only at the Standing Forward Bend and Downward Dog stage--no Headstands). I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience. By the way, my age is 58 and I started doing Yoga regularly only two years ago. I had done some of the Hittleman exercises in the past but I find the Yoga Journal videos to be more helpful and inspiring.
--Ann Koons

Yoga has allowed me to live medication free in spite of pet allergies for the most part. Although I haven't linked a particular pose to making my otherwise stuffy head clear, after a 40 minute session my head is completely clear and lasts until bed time. Although I have only been practicing yoga for a very short time, to date the only time I am in search of the medicine cabinet is when I have a severe outbreak with hives. While I do not understand how Yoga can make my allergy symptoms disappear as easily as it does, it is indeed the best therapy.

I started doing yoga at a local gym when I was experiencing a mild lupus flare. Though my symptoms over the years have included delusions, fevers, rashes, and cold extremities, my main symptoms at that point were muscle tightness and pain and profound fatigue. I remember vividly the release I started to feel as I stretched from fingertips to toetips, or hips to armpits, or wherever! It felt like I was literally breaking down a wall, or breaking up pain like dishwashing detergent breaks up grease, or unleashing water from behind an evil dam, and from that point on, I couldn't get enough of it.

Since then, yoga has helped me to open up not only my body, but to recognize and start to open the dams in my heart and mind, as well (dams that I believe somehow were related to my lupus diagnosis, if that makes any sense; I enjoy the books and theories of Carolyn Myss, along these lines.) I largely credit yoga for helping me weather chemotherapy--for kidney lupus--with minimal side effects; contrary to doctor's predictions, post-chemo nausea wasn't that bad, I didn't lose a lot of hair, and apparently not all of my eggs were killed. Now I'm enjoying a respite from my lupus symptoms altogether, though I still take some maintenance medications.

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The atmosphere at <a href="">yoga</a> classes is very warm and comfortable and leaves you rejuvenated yet peaceful at the finish. The teaching is expert-very gentle and knowledgeable, and there is always laughter and camaraderie."

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