Why is Yoga so Life Changing?

I had a student the other day say that yoga for her had been “life changing”.  I would agree too that yoga changed my life.  It brought back my strength following the birth of each child.  Several years later it got me through tough times on the job.  And now it is central to my practice of staying healthy.

But can yoga really be life changing for anyone?

As I started my studies in yoga I went to PubMed to review research on yoga.  I still do this on a regular basis and I am amazed at the variety of health conditions that are being treated with yoga.  Here’s what came up when I typed “yoga” into PubMed recently:

·        Depression

·        Obesity

·        Cancer-related fatigue

·        Asthma

·        Chronic Low Back Pain (my personal favorite)

·        Falls in Older Adults

·        Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

·        Psoriasis

·        Irritable Bowell Syndrome

·        Diabetes

I could go on, but the fact that nearly every body system is addressed amazes me.  I am not quite of the opinion that “Yoga Helps Everything and Everybody” but when I see a list like this I start to lean that way. 

I have heard many other stories about how yoga has changed not just physical health, but psychological and spiritual health.  How yoga helped recovery from drugs and alcohol; from the pain of divorce; from PTSD; and the list goes on.

I have some ideas of why yoga is gaining popularity in health care, but I would like to hear from you.  What is your experience with yoga?  How has it improved your health?  Has it changed your life?