What is Medical Yoga?
Medical Yoga (Mediyoga) is a swedish-developed and therapeutic form of yoga that suits everyone, including people with physical or psychological limitations. It was established and developed by Göran Boll at IMY, the Institute for Medical Yoga, in Stockholm, Sweden. It is inspired by Kundalini yoga, concepts of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicin (TCM). Research on Mediyoga started to take shape in 1997, when an initial partnership project was launched with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. This consisted of a study of what yoga could offer to patients with chronic back pain. Many different studies have been undertaken since then involving Medical Yoga and its effects on various patient groups and medical disorders in general.
Class structure of Medical yoga
Medical Yoga can be defined as a holistic body-mind training that calms the mind, increases body awareness, and balances the body’s nervous and hormonal systems. It also increases mobility, flexibility, and strength. A yoga class follows a certain structure, like a “recipe” with specific “ingredients”. We work with a mix of gentle breathing techniques, static and dynamic yoga postures, mantras (vibrations and sounds) and meditations that have been researched in Sweden and internationally. It’s a soft meditative but also powerful form of yoga with a deep impact on both mind and body.
How is Medi Yoga performed?
You choose whether you want to do the exercises on a chair or on a yoga mat. A yoga class includes structured tools – a recipe with ingredients. Structure and guidance in how the tools are used is of great importance for optimizing the effects and creating balance. There are main ingredients like a mantra, breathing techniques, yoga exercises, a relaxation exercise, meditation. Other ingredients are eye position, mudras (hand positions), and chanting meditations. The goal is to synchronize the ingredients with each other to focus your attention on the body and in the moment. We train the breath that clearly connects the mental and physical aspects of yoga. Regardless of experience, beginner or experienced practitioner, a deep and relaxed breathing is very important.
Who can practice Medical Yoga?
Medical yoga is basically for anyone. Scientific research is increasingly showing that stress is the underlying cause of disease. Medical yoga has powerful tools that are needed to re-establish and maintain balance in our lives. Many people cannot cope with the changes and demands placed on them, both as a society and as individuals. Today, there is a major need for more comprehensive holistic solutions. Medical yoga is a holistic method that works harmoniously with other healthcare therapies. Mediyoga also offers a yoga concept to achieve hormonal balance, especially designed for women who want to be more balanced in life. Read more about hormone-balancing yoga here.
Benefits of Medical yoga
It is an immensely powerful tool in combating stress, burn out and other imbalances. Moreover, it is simple to use. the yoga exercises suit everyone, and you can easily incorporate the yogic techniques into your everyday life. Regularly practiced the physical yoga movements, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques has increadible benefits. Medical Yoga can help lower blood pressure, reduce back pain, and increase your overall health. The structure of the class and meditations work widely for people with fatigue syndrome, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, sleep disorders and headaches. It is yoga for healing; healing on the people who need it. The goal is to create body awareness that connects the mental and physical aspects of yoga. It allows self- healing to take place. Medical Yoga helps you gain greater consciousness, stability, calmness, and harmony.
The mission is to create a regulated and quality assured yoga that can be used in the Swedish healthcare system. This is done through research and clinical evaluation. To be beneficial in health care, evidence is needed to substantiate that it really works. In collaboration with several leading hospitals in Sweden, research on Medical yoga has been carried out since 1998. Yoga can be a practical tool that really works! The studies have shown measurable effects on back pain and sleep problems, high blood pressure, as well as various emotional conditions. Since then, Medical yoga has played a major role (more than 90%) of the scientific research on yoga in Sweden. Today there is no doubt that meditation and yoga is beneficial for overall health!
Medical yoga in healthcare centers
Medical yoga is currently offered at more than 160 hospitals and healthcare centers in Sweden. It is used for stress management, fatigue syndrome, in psychiatry, for cancer patients, in elderly care. It has shown positive effects on people with cardiovascular disorders. Since 2004, Medi Yoga has been one of the most popular rehabilitation methods for employees on long-term sick leave at AstraZeneca.