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Yoga: Healing for All

Many people come to yoga with the understanding that it helps in the healing process for joints, muscle injuries, and postural issues. But how many of you know the benefits that yoga has—not just for the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons)—but also for the other systems of the body as well?

The cardiovascular system (which includes the heart), respiratory system (lungs, trachea, and all things related to breathing), digestive system (need we elaborate here?), nervous system, endocrine system (hormones), lymphatic system (responsible for the drainage of waste materials as well as functioning of the immune, cardiovascular and digestive systems), urinary and reproductive systems all are affected by the practice of yoga.

So for those of you that think of yoga as a glorified stretching routine, a workout, or a strange spiritual cult, let me see if I can shed some light on its benefits besides the obvious.

What sorts of conditions can yoga actually help cure—or mitigate the effects of? According to texts*, there is very little it cannot cure: sciatica, carpal tunnel, scoliosis, muscle cramps, back aches, arthritis, inflammation, fibromyalgia, asthma, migraines, depression, varicose veins, high blood pressure, breathlessness, sinusitis, indigestion, acidity, irritable bowel, constipation, obesity, low immune system, fatigue, memory issues, insomnia, anxiety, and menstrual pain just to name a few. As a matter of fact, all of the above are complaints that I have heard in my office and have, at one time or another, successfully treated.