When recommending exercises and stretches to our chiro clients, it is often that they are similar to, or actually are, some of the poses used in yoga practice. We as well often suggest that finding a yoga class would be beneficial as a beginner in the practice of yoga as they may enjoy trying it out to help strengthen the foundation around the spine that we are currently working on. While some are reluctant, especially males, it is important to remember that yoga is designed to promote flexibility but also allows the body to relax.
Motion and balance are two necessities to creating and maintaining a healthy life which both chiropractic and yoga focus on. Chiropractic and Yoga can therefore work in harmony to increase proper posture, range of motion and flexibility which are all crucial elements to both practices.
Let’s talk more about how the two connect.
Chiropractic and the spine’s role in the body:
The emphasis of chiropractic is often on restoring the proper alignment of the body so it functions normally and without pain. The spine is the main support for the body and houses most of the central nervous system providing the pathways for neural impulses to move throughout the body. When our spines are out of alignment it can affect how the central nervous system functions and also affect flexibility and even overall mobility, as well as cause pain and stiffness. Not only can small misalignments cause pain but as well can create a decreased immune system, changes in hormones, blood pressure and even blood sugar levels! This is why chiropractic works towards the prevention of pain & illness, and promotes overall wellness within the body and therefore reducing the need for some hospital admissions and other doctors visits.
Chiropractic believes that “the power that made the body, heals the body”, which means that the body has the power to heal itself once impediments to healing are removed. Chiropractic is also about positive thoughts and removal of stressors (both physical, mental, and chemical) and yoga can help the body achieve optimal health and reduce potential for future injuries with the emphasis on strengthening and toning muscles, improving posture, and strengthening the spine.
Yoga: Connecting Mind and Body:
Yoga in its purist form is an ascetic and spiritual discipline that involves simple meditation, conscious breathing or breach control, and performing certain body postures.
As an ancient practice long used for spiritual and emotional healing as well as physical wellness, yoga is widely accepted as a form of fitness and as well as a therapeutic practice used for relaxation and overall good health. It focuses on inward healing for outward results. Much like we talked about with chiropractic!
As a practice, yoga is based on a philosophy of a wholeness and connection with yourself, with others around you, as well as nature and the universe etc and becoming much more aware of this union of all of them. Along with breath and meditation, physical yoga promotes balance, strength, and flexibility. In yoga, you are tuning your nervous system, you’re tuning your body’s muscle system and skeletal system. Again, much like chiropractic which is why the two together works so well! Like peanut butter and jelly! 😊
Combining Chiropractic and Yoga!
Yoga promotes strength from head to toe making the body more able to receive chiropractic care. A stronger body can respond better to chiropractic care than a body that is stiff, sore and uneven.
Because yoga exercises are aimed to stretch and elongate the body, they release built up tension and stress. Doing yoga before visiting your chiropractor can “warm-up” your muscles and clear your mind and vice versa doing yoga after your visit to your chiropractor can enhance your yoga experience. In short, yoga readies your body to heal.
If you are suffering from a major injury or specific deep-rooted condition, a chiropractor may have to spend more time “prepping” your body before solving the issue or treating the injury. This can be especially frustrating for patients who want their problem to be solved immediately. That being said, yoga can increase your body’s flexibility and range of motion, saving work for your chiropractor. Yoga, like chiropractic care, is especially beneficial for those suffering from neck, back, hip or joint pain. The more work you do outside of your chiropractor’s office, the more in-depth work your chiropractor is able to do during your visit.
Yoga, like chiropractic care, helps prevent future injury. Both yoga and chiropractic care help keep the body aligned, promote balance, stretch and relieve tense muscles, and ensure proper joint operation- all things that create a body less susceptible to future injury. When done in tandem, individuals find their results are greater than when done alone.
Yoga and chiropractic care teach you about your body. Chiropractors and yoga teachers know vast amounts of information about the way your body works, and you should too! By having an awareness about good posture and your body’s overall function, you can live a healthier lifestyle.
So, overall, combining yoga with chiropractic increases the effectiveness of the treatment while strengthening the body and making it better able to respond to it. Yoga is therefore the PERFECT complement to chiropractic care and many patients are discovering tremendous health benefits from this winning, healthy combination!
Yours in health,
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For great local yoga right here in West Point check out The Good Earth Company with amazing Christian-based yoga run by Patti Knobbe! Yoga classes run 5 days a week at numerous times so you can go when most convenient with your schedule making it an easy addition to your overall wellness lifestyle!