The Healing Power of Yoga: Stories from ASMY

Yoga is not only enjoyable but improves our health.

I was reading the other day about a study that showed how a steady yoga practice far outweighed stretch classes in lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol levels are markers of how much stress we are carrying around in our body. High cortisol levels cause inflammation which can lead to pain and disease. What a bonus! Yoga is not only enjoyable but improves our health. I wanted to find out how our students have felt the benefits from regularly joining our yoga classes, so started to ask around. I’ve included some excerpts of their feedback.

Debra appreciates how yoga asanas have helped her manage fibromyalgia by keeping Inflammation in check: She writes, “When I began taking Margaret’s Stretch and Relax classes about eight years ago, I was 65 years old and had never done yoga before. I decided to give it a try, as I had suffered chronic pain from Fibromyalgia for about 16 years. There is no cure for Fibromyalgia but you can manage the pain and avoid flareups and this is how yoga has helped me. Normal exercise like walking and gym classes are very painful for sufferers but yoga has improved my fitness and my body definitely appreciates the stretching and relaxing of my muscles.”

Lyn writesPractising yoga has improved my posture, balance, strength and flexibility it has also been especially amazing as it rid me of terrible sciatica pain.  Yay 🙂 But that’s not all….. (haha) 😂 Practicing yoga has taught me to become a more efficient breather, it’s made me aware of shallow breathing and its implications as well as diaphragmatic breathing which I now regularly use  for calming and  relaxation.”

Helen who has been undergoing ongoing treatment for cancer and comes to class when she can, writes: “ASMY provided me with strength, motivation, and a renewed desire to move forward, I am infused with more grace and gratitude than ever before—both within and outside the yoga room.”  Good on you Helen, you’re an inspiration, best wishes for your health and recovery.  Doing yoga and meditation is not a cure for cancer but it certainly helps support you through your difficult times.

Melanie says yoga has benefited her core strength and given her tools to find balance in her life, plus she loves to connect with like minded people, making friends with fellow students.

Elayna recently broke her toe but that hasn’t stopped her from coming to classes, she writes, “ Joining ASMY [Yoga Classes]  has really helped me to slow down, remind myself to take care of my health not just physically but mentally & spiritually too.I have found the teachers have a beautiful way of sharing knowledge and articulating their wisdom through each class of yoga and meditation. I always feel good leaving and my nervous system is a lot calmer, so I can tackle the day ahead feeling positive and present.”  (Elayna is now expecting her first child and yoga is an essential part of her wellness routine, helping balance body, mind and emotions and prepare for the birth.) Elayna, I love how you always make a personal effort to show your appreciation to the teacher after each class. Best wishes on your pregnancy journey into motherhood.

Ngaire tells me that yoga has improved her asthma and notices if she takes time off she starts to feel tightness in her back.  She likes how yoga provides gentle fitness and appreciates the relaxing effect it has on her body and mind. Ngaire loves how she has met and made many new friends at the yoga room and her family comments on how Ngaire now has a certain intangible lightness about her. Love that Ngaire, your joy is contagious.

Our Monday receptionist, Andy, has just started participating in the easy classes. He’s been doing 3 classes a week, at first he really had to push himself to attend, but now that he’s experiencing the benefits of regular practice, there’s no stopping him. Andy has discovered the magic of yoga and has a new found appreciation of how yoga uplifts him and gives him more energy to go about the day. Go Andy!

We offer a few different styles of asanas at ASMY. Hatha classes are distinguished by holding poses for a number of breaths, whereas in the Flow classes participants may hold some poses but the majority flow from one to the other with the breath. In Yin classes most of the focus is opening the hips with poses that are held for 2 – 5 minutes at a time. Each of these style has a somewhat different outcome, some people enjoy all styles while others have their preferences. My survey was mainly from people who came to hatha classes, so if you practice any of the other styles and feel passionate about the benefits you have received please share them with us, we’d love to hear from you.


By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training