By Tish Ganey, 500 RYT (registered yoga teacher) and teacher of Advanced Therapeutic Yoga
“If you can breathe, you can do yoga!” That is the slogan of this year’s Global Yoga Therapy Day celebrated on August 14. It highlights the fact that yoga is something you can practice anywhere, anytime. You don’t need special equipment, or yoga outfits, or have the ability to sit cross-legged on the floor. If you can breath, you CAN do yoga! It is as simple as that.
Therapeutic yoga is a complementary and alternative therapy that supports patients and caregivers in their everyday lives. The therapeutic benefits of yoga help to address several of the issues facing patients with Chronic Kidney Disease, and their caregivers. At all phases of illness and dis-ease, yoga may help with:
- Reducing stress
- Improving sleep
- Calming anxieties
- Elevating mood
- Providing relaxing movement
If you can breathe, you can work toward the complementary benefits of yoga. Breathing is one of the key components of yoga. It is through the breath that we are able to calm the body and the mind. Yoga incorporates movement along with the breath. When we synchronize slow movements with our deep inhalations and slow exhalations, we get the attention of our heart. When we focus our mind on a breath and movement yoga practice, we begin to bring calmness to the whole body.
Yoga may support the patient and help them to do their part, as they work alongside their doctors and professional medical providers for their care. Chronic Kidney Disease often includes other issues that exacerbate the overall well-being of a CKD patient. It may be helpful for the CKD individual to learn skills to self-regulate emotion and to have a greater understanding of their own response to stress.
In celebration of yoga therapy, August 14 has been designated Global Yoga Therapy Day. This event will continue to raise awareness around the broad application of yoga for all individuals. We can learn how easy and accessible yoga can be for everyBODY. The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) has provided the general public with information regarding the benefits of yoga and yoga therapy at YogaTherapy.Health.
At a time of growing popularity in yoga it is important that yoga practices be researched and documented. Early indications for all types of chronic disease is that yoga helps to address many of the underlying effects of stress, anxiety and depression. Yoga research is particularly difficult because there are so many variables inherent in yoga. Science needs to articulate style of yoga, the practice details of duration, frequency, and intensity, and the exact descriptions of postures, breathing techniques, and meditation practices. The consensus on yoga research is that there needs to be more of it! The take-home in almost every yoga research study is something along the lines of “Yoga has potential utility as a complementary and alternative therapy for chronic diseases and can help patients … improve a number of health outcomes.”
“If you can breathe, you can do yoga!” And since you’re already breathing, you might as well do yoga! There is every indication that it may help you in a number of important ways.
Tish is a KRYT 500 Kripalu Registered Yoga Teacher, having received certification from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge Massachusetts in 2015. She has practiced yoga and meditation for over thirty years and is a lifetime student and a passionate creative. She continues learning and making the mind body connection for health, healing and well-being through yoga and meditation.
She teaches Advanced Therapeutic Yoga, and is a candidate of the certified Integrative Yoga Therapist program at Kripalu, accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Tish expects to become a certified yoga therapist in 2020. Contact Tish Ganey at tish@TampaYogaTherapy.com for more information about yoga.