As we move into 2007, we are going to be introducing a range of programs that we are calling ‘complementary care’ programs (its a working name). These programs are all connected by their roots in traditional yogic science, but are also well grounded in traditional western medical evaluation and testing. Our community of teachers firmly believe in the capacity of yoga to make a difference in people’s health, in their well-being, and in their experience of their lives. The evidence continues to mount, day after day, BUT, the question is always going to be the one that this NY Times article refers to – are people going to change, or do they just want to take a pill?
As a society, can we continue to afford to pay huge amounts for health care to treat disease that can be treated more gently, more effectively and even prevented by simple modifications and additions to our daily practices?
Yoga can make an enormous difference in people’s health, especially in some of the most intractable (for western medicine) and chronic areas – low back pain, stress, things like carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress injuries. Already, we are making some progress. Physicians regularly advise patients undergoing cancer treatment to get support through a regular yoga practice, and many ob/gyns suggest pregnant moms do yoga (the breathing combined with the specific type of exercise is a great combination).
Clearly, yoga has a contribution to make, to well being, societal cost reduction and health. We intend to keep exploring this in 2007!