I recently had the opportunity to attend the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTR) via zoom. Some of the keynote speakers for SYTR included a professor from Harvard University Medical School, the director of National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and a yoga therapist from Duke Integrative Medicine.

Hearing how top universities and a government organization are embracing yoga therapy for the care of the mind, body, spirit and emotional health because of its research-based effectiveness should convince you that yoga (postures, breathing, relaxation and meditation) can play a role in improving your health. Organizations are embracing that healing is a multidimensional approach with mind, body and spirit. Just google scientific research on yoga or visit PubMed whether it is for yoga for low back pain, yoga for cancer, yoga for stress — the scientific research is mounting that yoga can ease suffering and enhance your health.

You may find it interesting that Harvard first-year medical students are required to take a mind, body and resilience course which incorporates the science of yoga as well as a chair yoga practice.

Ashton Graham

If you aren’t in the best of health and/or have health issues running out to the first yoga class is not the best approach. Find a beginner class that teaches you the basics and alignment before showing up for a vinyasa power flow class. Also, please do not be intimidated or turned off by the prevalence of yoga and how it is presented in our media and with pictures on Instagram, usually showing images of white, incredibly thin and lean, able-bodied women under age 40 doing advanced yoga poses. We all start from where we are.