Is Yoga Compatible with Functional Medicine?
It’s likely that you’ve heard of yoga. You may have tried yoga for yourself, passed by a yoga class, or know someone who is a yoga fanatic.
In the United States, yoga is well-known as a low-impact workout, but did you know that yoga has more benefits than just increasing your fitness and flexibility?
Yoga shares the same holistic view of health as functional medicine, which views the body as a whole rather than individual parts. Keep reading to learn how yoga is compatible with functional medicine and why implementing yoga can act as a functional medicine supplement.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a spiritual discipline that focuses on bringing harmony between the mind and body. In the United States, it’s commonly used to build strength and awareness of how the mind and body are working together. Yoga aims to unite the body and mind to achieve true harmony.
The origins of Yoga are hard to trace but generally date back to thousands of years ago. This practice originated in Northern India and was used to teach sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge and wisdom.
Currently, most yoga that is practiced in the United States is Hatha Yoga, which has been diversified by thousands of teachers with different approaches. However, the principle purpose of yoga has remained the same: to bring harmony to your mind and body and promote mental and physical health. Yoga achieves this goal by focusing your attention on your movement.
What Are the Benefits of Yoga?
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’re probably already aware of the physical and mental benefits of yoga. Due to its low impact nature, yoga is accessible for almost everyone.
For example, if you have bad knees, you may not be able to engage in high-impact cardio or certain types of strength training. On the other hand, yoga is low impact and most flows leave your joints feeling better than before—not worn out and strained.
Most of us struggle to stay motivated with an exercise routine, but yoga is refreshing and beneficial to us physically and mentally. When you walk away from a yoga session, you can expect to feel good. This makes you want to keep coming back for more.
John Hopkins lists these benefits of yoga:
- Improves strength
- Improves balance
- Improves flexibility
- Relieves back pain
- Eases arthritis symptoms
- Benefits heart health
- Boosts energy
- Improves your mood
- Promotes self-care
- Helps with stress management
These benefits showcase why yoga has been enjoyed by millions of people across thousands of years.
However, these benefits don’t point directly to functional medicine. How exactly do they intersect?
What Is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine treats illness by identifying the root cause of the symptoms rather than treating individual symptoms. This technique is based on the theory that if one part of your body isn’t working properly, it’s going to negatively affect other parts of your body.
Yoga Basics states that “the main philosophy of yoga is simple: mind, body, and spirit are all one and cannot be clearly separated.”
Functional medicine believes the same: that your body operates as a unit, and one symptom can have a root cause that isn’t necessarily related to the same area of your body.
Yoga Is A Functional Medicine Supplement
Aside from the psychological similarities between yoga and functional medicine, the overall health benefits are the same.
Functional medicine doctors take extra time to talk to their patients and learn about their lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise, then make a plan on how to improve habits and avoid illness. Implementing healthy eating, regular exercise, and toxin cleansing can help you avoid many chronic illnesses that plague our modern society.
Yoga has a similar take on the physical body. Yoga includes poses that are valuable for increasing strength and flexibility—testing your mental strength in the process. Through improved flexibility, mobility, and strength, you can avoid chronic illnesses such as lower back pain.
Start Implementing Yoga Today
Now’s the perfect time to embrace the benefits of functional medicine and yoga. Results of implementing a yoga practice in addition to making healthy lifestyle changes have led to improved circulation, increased muscle tone, and relieved stiffness. Patients of all ages can benefit from these physical improvements as they age.
Attend a Functional Yoga Class Today
Dr. Cheryl Winter provides functional medicine treatment for patients in Conroe, Texas. She specializes in hormone health, sexual health, diabetes reversal, digestive health, and more. If you’re ready to finally feel good again and see health results that last, it’s time to get connected today.
Don’t forget to consider adding yoga into your regular healthcare routine. If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of yoga, you don’t have to search high and low for quality classes. Become a member and enjoy our member yoga classes!