Health

Applying the lessons of the Ashtanga Yoga practice for a healthy life.

When I graduated nursing school, friends and family members who know that I also practiced yoga were excited for me exclaiming that, ‘how great it is that you can combine your yoga skills with caring for patients.’ Not exactly those words, but similar. 

From where I was standing in a hospital starting an IV checking birthdates on an ID band, and lab data before administering 250mcg Digoxin I couldn’t understand how the two health care systems could possibly be combined. Aging was a process handled by health care professionals and pharmaceuticals.

Yoga was something you did so as not to end up on the receiving end of my IV. Yoga was something you could ‘try’ after seeing the Physical Therapist, or after we removed a blood vessel in your leg for a CABG. It was something you could try as a last resort because doctors didn’t know what else to do for the your fibromyalgia when lost in the pharmacopeia of drugs.

Read More
Morgan Lee
The process of aging

All complex systems begin to break down randomly and gradually at different times. It’s why in our genius we have built in back up systems to nuclear power plants, and back up systems for the back up systems. It’s why there are back up systems in the human body; an extra kidney, a second lung, liver cells that regenerate, etc. Systems in place that if the primary one fails a back-up can take over while making repairs or replacing the primary system. The secondary system isn’t as efficient or effective as the primary, but keeps the entire operation moving forward another day.

For most of our species existence on this planet the average lifespan of humans was around 30 years. It’s only in the last century that the average lifespan of humans has increased to about 80. The modern human is, in a sense, a freak. A mutant. An unnatural pheromone.  

When we talk about aging with respects to our yoga practice we are entering uncharted territory.

Read More
Padmasana - the master asana

The closing asana, mainly Baddha Padmasana, and Padmasana, should be preformed by everyone. Jois states that the benefits of Baddha Padmasana purify the Liver and Spleen. One should note that the organs listed are not the western organs but the organs associated with TCM.

Read More
Morgan Lee
The Female cycle

 Should women practice Ashtanga Yoga during their cycle? How does this yoga help with regulating the menstrual cycle?

The major player in human reproduction is the Female. Unfortunately because sexual health is taboo and not openly discussed, in part due to a patriarchal society, the waters around the female reproductive system are often murky.

Aside from acknowledging that some women have abdominal pain during menstruation, the topic of menstruation is not discussed in The Yoga Mala. In fact, ‘a lot of women with strong Ashtanga practices at some point lose their periods, often due to a combination of low body wight and intense exercise.’  (Alison DeMaio, MD OB/GYN) This is common for high intensity sports across the board know as athletic amenorrhea.

Read More
Morgan Lee
Ashtanga Yoga as energy medicine

The practice of Yoga, Tai-Chi, Qi Gong, and the practice of TCM are energy practices. 

According to TCM there are 14 channels that originate from the Chong Mai. In Ayurveda the Chong Mai is named the Sushumna Nadi. From the Chong Mai two channels branch from the Chong and are known as the Ren Mai and Du Mai, or the Ida and Pingala respectively in Ayurveda. These channels are the core of our bodies development and the root of our essence. 

In TCM the outer layers or channels deal with the lower levels of Maslow’s Heigharcy of needs and the chakras related to digestion, while the inner channels protect the heart and the essence of our beings. 

Read More
Morgan Lee
Can Ashtanga Yoga improve the health of the human reproductive system?

Should women practice Ashtanga Yoga during their cycle? How does this yoga help with regulating the menstrual cycle?

In the essential text on Ashtanga Yoga, The Yoga Mala, Jois states, ‘Some women suffer from abdominal pain during menstruation. This is removed by the practice of these asanas (Marichyasana.) The womb becomes powerful and enables a woman to carry a child strongly, and miscarriage due to weakness is cured.’

It’s impossible to deny that there is a flow of energy through the body. “It’s been called by many names. In ancient Chinese medicine, it is called Qi. In yoga, it is called Shakti. In the West, it is called Spirit….the yogis call energy centers chakras.” (The Untethered Soul - Michael A. Singer) Traditional Oriental Medicine links these centers with our internal organs. Both systems involve using natural remedies to allow the body to heal itself.

Read More
Ashtanga Yoga and the Circulatory System (part 4)

Practicing Ashtanga Yoga makes the individual strong from the inside by improving the digestive and circulatory systems. It allows the individual to become responsible for their own health and develop a responsibility for it. Understanding our individual responsibility to our health and health care prevents the unnecessary suffering of others.

Read More
Morgan Lee
Ashtanga Yoga and the Circulatory System (part 3)

There is an element of physicality but it’s mainly mental. That’s what is incredible about free diving. It’s not about your physical ability, but about your mental skills and mental training basically. You need to let go of everything that you know and everything that makes you feel good or bad. And so it’s a very liberating process. But equally you need to stay completely aware of your body and where you are, entirely in the moment.” Martina Amati

Read More
Morgan LeeComment