I just completed my 2nd session of the Himylayan Institute 500 Yoga Teacher Training – this was the fall session. This session was about Yoga and Health; mine and my students. As always, your health is in your’s and your doctor’s hands. This writing is in no way medical advice, but it is what I have taken away from this teacher training session. I offer you my findings and encourage you to follow much if not all of the yogic path, wherever that leads you.
I enjoyed this session and got through it without the anxiety I experienced in the summer session. I believe this stress was due to Covid and not being able to go out at all. What a difference it is to get back to some normalcy! I continue to be cautious, wearing a mask and keeping social distance. 2 things resonated with me during this session that I will touch on here.
1 – Negativity bias – I wrote on this and this post may be accessed by clicking on the name. Here is a little recap:
“The Negative Bias states that we remember the negative events of our life more profoundly than the positive. They seem to make a deeper impression or samskara. Our spirituality comes into play when we are present and conscious of our actions and thoughts. Only when we are aware can we steer our thoughts to positivity and love. This is where the Gratitude Journal comes into play. Reminding ourselves of the beauty of our past. Being present in nature. Recognizing beauty and love everywhere. Our warm sun, shade giving trees, pollinating bees, people who hold the door for you at Wawa! That last one is my favorite. Did you ever notice how happy people are at Wawa?” I work on gratitude every day and I am more lienient with myself and others. Being present in my life helps me remember this lesson and gratitude to turn it around to love and positivity.
2 – Takotsubo Syndrome (Heartbreak Syndrome) – There are documented cases where lack of blood flow occurs in response to mental stress and intense emotions. Stress and heart disease are thought to go hand in hand. Stress is known to….
- increase blood pressure. I have experienced this in the dentist’s chair. A technician noticed my stress and took my blood pressure as I was sitting waiting for the dentist. The top number was over 160 – my normal number is 118 to 120 or lower. I have never seen this number before or since. I know it was due to the stress I experienced waiting for the dentist.
- increase cholesterol – I do not need this as I already am battling high cholesterol. Working on lowering this with my physician.
- increases blood sugar – my blood sugar registered pre-diabetic a year and a half ago as my anxiety became an issue. I was just retested after following my Yogic practice for the past two years and my blood sugar is down. I am no longer pre-diabetic. Keeping a check on this with my physician.
Yoga has decreased the stress response in me, hopefully decreasing my risk of heart disease. A visit to your doctor and a blood test will lead you to where you need to be or go with regards to your health. Yoga and meditation counter mental stress, as I understand it, by emphasizing our breath, relaxation and equanimity of mind.
Here is a slide from my studies at the Himalayan Institute with
Dr. Carrie Demers, MD – There are many studies out there for your reading entertainment:-)
Himalayan Institute training, Fall, 2020, with Dr. Carrie.
Can Yoga improve your lifestyle in so many ways from your mind to heart to body? In my personal opinion, YES.
In conjunction with eating wholesome nutritious food, regular exercise, healthy relationships, and yoga (breath, relaxation, meditation), I believe we can prevent and reverse many health obstacles. I know that I am benefiting from this lifestyle. You will have to try it. Let me know how it goes. Contact me for a yoga practice.
In Doctor Carrie’s words, “When we live well, our heart is happy!”