The Power to Heal
On September 25, Inner Light Yoga Studio had the distinct pleasure of hosting a class taught by Swami Bua, a Hatha Yoga master who studied in India as a young crippled child. Since yoga restored his ability to walk, he devoted his life to teaching and spreading the word about the restorative benefits of yoga, among other things.
In this month's column, we take a look at how yoga not only unites the mind, body and spirit but also how it helps to eliminate suffering. For those diagnosed with autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, or Lyme, yoga has the power to relieve pain and decrease the symptoms, as it stretches the tight muscles and strengthens the weak ones. For those athletes enduring an injury from running or weight lifting, for example, yoga has the power to loosen up muscles that need to be loosened and to strengthen what needs to be strengthened. By uniting mind, body and spirit, the practice of yoga starts the body on its path to self-healing.
Every Friday, I have the privilege of teaching a class filled with wonderful people who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Because MS tends to affect one side of the body more than the other, yoga assists them to balance out the body. Yoga helps them to feel stable, and as a result, relaxes them. Props such as chairs, the wall and ropes attached to the walls and mats can be used. These people give so much to me. They inspire my spirit, as I watch their strength, flexibility and body awareness increase with each posture, every time we meet.
Ultimately, yoga encourages positive thoughts and self-acceptance. When diagnosed with a chronic illness or when enduring the pain of an athletic injury, the best gift you can give your body, mind and spirit is commitment to the practice of yoga. The discipline involved in the practice will, with patience and determination, free you from ailments and stress. It will focus you on the positive, not the negative; it will take your mind off the pain.
I have learned, especially from my MS students, that our weaknesses can become our strengths. In essence, as Hemingway once wrote, "we become strong in the broken places." When we realize this, we create a sense of oneness with ourselves and with each other. We have peace.
If you are suffering from a disease or an injury and would like to inquire about the healing effects of yoga, please do not hesitate to call me.