Okay, I admit it: the government shutdown and the fight over health care is making me grouchy. So far, we have been avoiding controversial topics like politics on the blog, and I think that’s a good idea, so don’t worry I’m not going to go there. Instead, I'm going to go ahead and rant about a saying that I hear sometimes in the yoga community:
Yoga is My Health Insurance
On the staff of Yoga for Healthy Aging, we have two medical doctors, two medical researchers, and a physical therapist. And every one of these people not only has their own health insurance, but all would assure you that yoga cannot solve all your health problems. And thinking that it can is both foolish and dangerous.
Because modern yoga has been popular in the US for decades now, we now have a large number of people—particularly yoga teachers—who have been practicing yoga for 30, 40, or even more years. And I’ve been watching them struggling with some of the same major health concerns we all must face, from cancer and Parkinson’s Disease to serious and lasting injuries due to car accidents and arthritis that necessitates joint replacements. (I’m thinking of people I know here—it’s likely you know other yoga teachers with other serious conditions.) Of course, yoga can help someone with serious illnesses or injuries, providing improved quality of life and possibly ameliorating certain troublesome symptoms, but it cannot prevent or cure those diseases. Would we really want any of these people to go without the help—sometimes lifesaving help—that could be provided by western medicine?
Obviously, we wouldn’t have started this blog if we didn’t all believe that yoga was a powerful tool for fostering healthy aging. And we continue to believe that is true. But we don’t for a second believe that yoga is our health insurance, or that it should be yours.
This rant was approved by Dr. Baxter Bell and Dr. Brad Gibson.