I was driving ten hours by myself last week—something I normally hate because I don’t like having that much solo thought time. However, I’ve been really working on enjoying my solitude for what it is, and that’s when I came across an interesting Dr. Oz episode on Oprah Radio Channel. I stopped to listen to someone else’s thoughts for awhile instead of my own,and had an incredible epiphany on just another reason why I love yoga.
The woman speaking was a cardiologist rehab doctor, talking about her approach to healing patients after open-heart surgery.It was her spin on the reputable Dean Ornish’s approach to heal the heart, which is support, diet, exercise and stress management.
These four things can prevent heart damage, reverse it and even heal after an event. This woman renamed them into community and love, food, exercise and self-care because she thought it sounded less clinical and more approachable. She recommends support groups as a place people can feel loved and understood through like-minded individuals.
She liked the word ‘food’ instead of ‘diet’ because the latter sounds restrictive, and food sounds good, important and joyful, which is what it should be. Exercise is exercise;it’s about getting your body moving, period. She changed stress management to self-care because it sounds positive then. And that every person should practice self-care through meditation or just five minutes of quiet time to yourself every single day.
These Four Things Versus One Hour Of Yoga
When I was listening to this, I thought about how amazing it was that one hour of yoga gives me all four of these things that save people’s lives everyday in a clinical setting—things that nourish the heart, which is our body’s lifeline.
- In yoga, I get an hour of community and love with like-minded people, whether they realize they give that or not.
- I get exercise with my asanas; I strengthen and stretch most parts of my body.
- I get self-care and stress management through my dedication, my motivation, meditation and just acknowledging that that hour is all mine.
- Healthy foods become a staple.
Let me explain that last one; although I tend not to eat in yoga class, I never want to stuff a bunch of junk food into my mouth anytime before or after a yoga class because I want the max benefits from my practice. So when I practice yoga regularly, my junk food eating is just naturally crowded out, and thus leads to healthy eating!
After putting these puzzle pieces together in my life, I think it is only a matter of time before insurance will pay for yoga as a preventative means to heart disease, or a means of healing if you have a heart issue! How about you? What are the “four quadrants” of your yoga practice?
By Kate Brunelle – Kate tried yoga for the first time in November and was instantly hooked. She just started on her 200-hr yoga training and would love to share her journey with others.
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