Yoga as therapy


Yoga exercises that are performed slowly and in a controlled manner are designed to develop physical flexibility, create mental relaxation and provide insight. Breathing plays a fundamental role in yoga. In yoga philosophy breathing embodies Prana, the vital force. Breathing is an unconscious action for most people. However we can consciously change this through the use of different breathing techniques. This, in turn, boosts well-being Breathing also direct reflects our emotional state. For instance, we take rapid, shallow breaths when we are upset, and breathe more deeply and calmly when we are relaxed.


This is why we can create a greater sense of physical, mental and emotional harmony internally, when we consciously change the way we breathe. As such, breathing is a unique way of directly affecting our mind and unconscious processes within our body.


Practising yoga affects the body and its inner organs in numerous ways. It builds flexible and strong muscles, affects digestion and hormone balance, produces a more resilient and durable nervous system, helps balance the right and left halves of the brain and improves your sleeping habits –to name just a few benefits.


“I hadn’t had a full night’s sleep for 25 years. After three weeks of yoga I began to sleep at night, and now I’ve slept every night for the last five years.”


“I tried yoga after suffering migraines every day for 40 years. After a couple of months of daily yoga the migraines began to lessen, and are now are no longer part of my life.”


“I’ve gained relief from the severe pollen allergy I suffered for many years through yoga.”


“My neck and shoulder pain has gone after a couple of months of yoga.”


“I asked for yoga exercises for my high blood pressure. In just two weeks my blood pressure was nearly back to normal, so I was able to avoid going on medication.”


”For several years I suffered from a severe panic disorder. I couldn’t do anything. After one semester of yoga I noticed a clear difference, and today I’m a totally different person. Yoga has made me realise that I actually can affect my life. I’m not sick as often as before, and I now find dealing with social situations far easier.”


The quotes above are actual comments by people who have taken part in various Swedish MediYoga research projects or received medical yoga therapy since 1998.


From both a yogic and a quantum mechanical perspective, we humans are complex, multidimensional energetic beings. The problems, diseases and ailments we experience during our lives are fundamentally about stoppages and blockages of underlying energy flows. When we take steps to adjust our energy levels through the regular practice of yoga and meditation, the symptoms of diseases, ailments and other difficulties diminish and/or disappear.


Yoga in general and MediYoga in particular are powerful complementary methods for therapy and rehabilitation. Their regular practice will affect, reduce and even cure many physical, mental and emotional imbalances. Today yoga is prescribed as a treatment at several American, Swedish and Norwegian hospitals for e.g. the rehabilitation of stroke, heart and cancer patients.


Internationally, yoga as a therapy is a large and growing phenomenon and the international yoga therapists’ association IAYT has thousands of members all over the world.