Yoga has been used to manage high blood pressure, cope with the effects of cancer treatments, and treat symptoms of depression or anxiety. Yoga is also becoming very popular for the treatment of musculoskeletal issues, like lower and upper back pain, sciatica pain, and shoulder, neck and hip pain.

Yoga is a holistic discipline that teaches that the mind, body and spirit are connected. Because of this, properly trained yoga instructors believe it is possible to go beyond the results that are possible with physical therapy. Specifically referencing yoga therapy, Janice Gates, President of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and author of Yogini, says, “Yoga therapy is very much about the whole person. It is complimentary to physical therapy, but we take into account that back pain may be related to an emotional element, or it may be from lifestyle, some pattern that is not serving them, physical movement patterns or other patterns.”

It is commonly agreed upon that everybody should be first seen by a medical professional, without question, and that one should be sure that a yoga instructor is properly trained, but yoga itself is being widely embraced as a health and wellness practice in America. “Yoga is offered at 93 percent of 755 integrative medical centers, which combine western and alternative healthcare methods,” according to Cary Wing, Executive Director at the Medical Fitness Association in Richmond, Virginia.

Loren Fishman, M.D., Director of the Flushing Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in New York and coauthor of “Relief is in the Stretch: End Back Pain through Yoga,” has prescribed downward-facing dog post for osteoporosis as well as other poses for piriformis syndrome and scoliosis. “It calms people down,” says Fishman. “Just being calm is a tremendous asset when you are in pain,” Fishman adds.

The bottom line is the healing and therapeutic benefits of yoga therapy are seemingly endless. Whatever it is you are dealing with, discuss any possible benefits of yoga therapy with your medical doctor and if you aim to try a yoga class, check into the training and references of any potential yoga instructor.

Here at Awakening Through Synergy, we offer a variety of yoga classes, workshops and sessions for private clients. We customize sequences based on individual abilities and needs. We work with many athletes who have strong cardio workout in their routines and integrate low impact stretching and deep holds to benefit chronically tight muscles. We also with many other clients with various needs.