What health practitoners say about yoga

Ruth Gilmore – GP 
Yoga is unique in that a balanced practice benefits both the body and the mind, whilst guiding each of us on our individual spiritual journey. The mind and body are two sides of the one coin; you cannot change one without changing the other. This is how yoga works. A balanced practice includes a sequence of asanas carried out with sustained awareness. These are designed to take the body through its full pain-free range of movement without stress, but also have either stimulating or calming effects on the mind. Breathing practices, relaxation, visualisation and meditation balance the physical movement of asanas and complete the practice.

Yoga is suitable for all, providing the practice is appropriate with respect to the practitioner’s physical and psychological state. A good teacher should be able to provide a helpful practice for anyone, from the Olympic athlete to the terminally ill – and everyone in between!

Simon Hedley – Osteopath
A regular practice of yoga not only promotes physical health and flexibility but works at a deeper level to focus the mind and relieve stress. As an osteopath and yoga practitioner I recognise the value of regular exercise and the benefits it has for my health and my patient’s health. I regularly recommend yoga to my patients.

Sandy Tubby – Physiotherapist 
These days, humans tend to lead sedentary lives- working at the computer, watching television, playing computer games. Our bodies were designed to move. Muscles create movement through the joints. If we spend much of our time being still our joints become stiff and our muscles tight and lazy. Yoga postures allow our bodies to reverse this damage by gently moving the joints and working the correct muscle groups. This combination will gradually help to improve your posture and all of these factors should help to alleviate aches and pains.

Jon Law, PhD – Sports Scientist and Martial Artist
Yoga has value for athletes and martial artists in a number of ways. The flexibility and strength gleaned from regular practice helps protect the body from the extreme physical demands that many sports incur, helping to protect from repetitive injury or recuperate from existing injury.

The balanced postures and movements of Yoga practice help to ease out the muscular stresses caused by often ‘lopsided’ sporting activities. For example, a golfer or cricket batsman adopts either a left or right handed posture when striking the ball. This means that the strains of the sport are experienced differently on each side of the body. Over time, this has the potential to cause injury, which can be avoided through the balanced, gentle exercise of Yoga practice.

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