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Yoga: More Than Just Stretching

Stacy White - June 18, 2018

To understand and appreciate the benefits of yoga, it’s imperative to understand that yoga is not just stretching. 
Yoga is a Hindu discipline, which includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. 
  • Asanas (physical postures)
  • Pranayama (control of breathing)
  • Meditation
From the outside looking in, asana (the physical postures) may look like it is just stretching and/or exercise.  But just because you don’t see the other two components (breathing control and meditation), it doesn’t mean they aren’t being focused on just as much.  
Pranayama (breathing) and meditation take yoga from stretching and strengthening the body to stretching and strengthening the body and mind.   
The goal of yoga is to create wholeness, a union of the breath, body, and the mind. When you practice yoga regularly the positive outcomes can be endless.  In a number of studies, it has been concluded that yoga can: 
  • decrease depression
  • decrease stress 
  • develops coping skills 
  • positive outlook on life 
  • more mindful 
  • lower blood pressure/cholesterol/blood sugar 
Yoga is about so much more than physical movement. While it’s true that practicing yoga can improve flexibility, strength, endurance and balance, it also facilitates characteristics of mindfulness, compassion and kindness. Other important outcomes include changes in life, perspective, increased self-awareness, improved energy to live life joyfully and enlightening the individual to an overall sense of calmness and wellbeing.
FORM Medical regularly prescribes yoga to our patients. Dr. Kelner not only uses yoga to help her patient's increase their flexibility and strength, she feels it is a great tool to help patient's gain balance in their body and control of fine motor skills.  The breathing component of yoga is equally as important to help get oxygen to all of the body's muscles and organs.  Yoga and osteopathic medicine truly go hand and hand as both believe the mind, body, and spirit are one and are working to keep the whole body healthy. 
What's your practice?
If you are interested in joining FORM Medical to practice yoga, send us a message at