Before beginning to speak about osteopathic yoga, it is important to understand what yoga is. Yoga, unlike popular belief, is not just about the movements or positions of the body; it is a discipline that includes breath control, meditation and the various poses. The combination of the physical, spiritual and mental practices originated in India. In North America, yoga refers to the physical practice of the movements, poses and various postures.
There are many different types of yoga that have come into being over the years. Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kundalini, Anusara, Jivamukti, Viniyoga, Pranayama, Sivananda, Mysore, Karma, Integral, Kriya, Ananda, Raja and Osteopathic yoga are the most common forms of yoga practiced by people around the world.
Because yoga is a combination of postures, movements, breathing, meditation and spiritual practices, it is very healthy to control stress, stabilize emotions and keep the body healthy. Some forms of yoga focus only on mild stretching while more advanced forms of yoga will focus on strengthening the body and are known as power yoga. Practicing yoga regularly can help optimize health by promoting a well-balanced life. One of the downfalls to yoga is that many people who have severe injuries, physical limitations or are very inflexible have a lot of difficulties trying to participate in different yoga practices.
People who have many body restrictions and health problems will have difficulty following the routine in most yoga classes. Osteopathic yoga focuses on the acceptance of your body and remaining within your body’s range of motion. Osteopathic yoga focuses on the movements that the can do and will slowly, through breathing and very subtle movements promote and increase in the range of motion. For some people, a session will begin simply by breathing using the whole body in different body positions for example, lying on the back, lying on either side, lying on the stomach or in a sitting position.
Osteopathic yoga is very good for someone with many restrictions, people with illnesses or even post-surgery to promote proper healing and strengthening of the body.