Many of us at OSU have taken a yoga class whether as a one-time stress release program, an ongoing class at Dixon, for credit through health and human sciences or as a lunch time reprieve through the faculty and staff fitness program. And as many of you know, there are numerous styles of yoga being offered from flow/vinyasa to hot/Bikrams to alignmentfocused/ Iyengar yoga, just to name a few. Hatha Yoga are two Sanskrit words which mean to unite, integrate, balance and have will power (Ribeiro, 2010). Although yoga has been utilized as an integrative treatment approach for numerous mind/ body ailments for thousands of years; until recently, yoga was known in the west predominantly as a stress relief practice. Fortunately; however, scientific research is supporting and promoting yoga as a treatment for multiple physical issues such as arthritis, high blood pressure, chronic back pain, and asthma as well as emotional issues including managing depression, anxiety and trauma.
Iyengar (2008) has outlined particular sequences of yoga postures for specific ailments and certain counterbalance poses that are recommended for promoting optimal health of the organs and the spine. Yoga therapy is becoming a widely accepted treatment equivalent to western therapies due to the focus on root causes of ailments rather than just symptom relief. Whenever choosing to use yoga as a therapy; however, the consumer should keep in mind the credentials of the therapist, their knowledge of the body and their understanding with how to modify postures for individual needs. Certified Iyengar yoga teachers, who also have specific training in yoga interventions, are specifically equipped for working with individuals with therapy concerns.
As a way to enhance our services at the Mind Spa we have collaborated to create DVDs specifically for faculty/ staff and students at OSU. The yoga DVDs in the Mind Spa invite the practitioner to slow down and become more mindful of breath awareness and alignment in the body. Through proper alignment and proper sequences of yoga postures we can awaken muscles and joints that have become dormant or lethargic and invite a renewed sense of being. The relaxation component toward the end of the DVDs can also assist those struggling with insomnia or general sleep difficulties. In traditional and best practices in yoga, relaxation should always end a yoga practice so there can be a time for integration of the physical and the emotional. You are invited to practice simple strength building postures or stretches as a way to start off your spring and prepare for summer! Make an appointment today with the Mind Spa by calling 541.737.2131 and start THRIVING!
Iyengar, B.K.S. (1998). Yoga, the Path to Holistic Health. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. London.
Ribeiro, S. (2010). Yoga in Higher Education: Faculty and Staff. Iyengar Yoga Center of the Willamette Valley. Corvallis, OR.
This article is featured in the Fall newsletter for the Mind Spa. For more articles, download the newsletter at http://oregonstate.edu/counsel/mind-spa-newsletters.