I was happy when Anne asked me to write a piece for her Yoga Quota blog. I’ve been going to her classes regularly and am getting inspired by her enthusiasm about yoga
and the good work she’s doing for charity. Anne blogged about the positive effects of yoga and mindfulness on our body (http://www.yogaquota.com/blog/mind-body-medicine) after I sent her a link to a very interesting interview from an Australian radio program. My guest blog will focus on these effects a little bit as well, especially because I’ve been experiencing them myself.
Since I haven’t introduced myself yet, I will do that here. My name is Eduard, I’m a 25 year old DPhil student from (excuse me if this sounds chauvinistic, which it probably will!) an amazing little country called The Netherlands. For me exercise and yoga is more than a way to relax in the sometimes busy Oxford way of life and this is exactly where the whole ‘Mind body medicine’ comes into the picture.
For a couple of years I’ve been having periods of back pain and inflammations throughout my body. Doctors are still trying to find out what’s going on, but my symptoms are pointing towards a rheumatic disease called ankylosing spondylitis. At the time I was very sceptical about the suggestion of one of my doctors to try yoga to alleviate my symptoms. What else can you expect from a pharmacy student learning all about pharmacological effects and randomised placebo-controlled clinical trials?
It was actually already after a couple of classes that I had to start rethinking my scepticism. I felt energised and my back was feeling much better. This is of course just my experience and I want to emphasise that I’m not suggesting that yoga is some form of a magical cure (I still have to take my anti-inflammatories). I do however think that working our mind can affect our body. Just like Anne said in her blog: “This is really NOT about suggesting a cancer sufferer should go to homeopathic medicine instead of Chemo or chant mantras until they are better. It's just about adding the power of our mind to our amazing western medical cures.”
Just to make my blog sound and look somewhat scientific I would like to point your attention to the following fact. A quick search on ‘Pubmed’ (a search engine for life sciences publications) for the term ‘yoga’ results in 2815 publications. As you can see in the graph the number of publications has increased strongly over the last few years. I haven’t performed a thorough analysis of all the publications out there, but it looks like scientists are finally starting to dig into the positive effects of yoga as well!
Hope you enjoyed reading my guest blog. If you are wondering if yoga could do the same for you, just give it a go!
Increase in the number of 'Yoga' publications (since 1948)