2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Stress Less: Yoga

Click here for the Health Tip link.

If you want to take a major step in reversing whatever problem ails you, sign up for a yoga class and stick with it. There are now classes in virtually every community large enough to have paved roads. Even if you live in the middle of nowhere, you can get your lessons on videotape. However, the people who teach and attend yoga classes are some of the nicest on our planet, and sometimes good health (and other good things) comes about by being around nice people.

There’s little not to like about yoga. It’s inexpensive, safe, and there are no pills to swallow. You won’t have to deal with health insurance and most people don’t need a referral from their doctor (though if you’ve had a joint replacement, ask your doctor if yoga is permitted). You need no special equipment except your body in some loose comfortable clothing and a “sticky mat” to keep your hands and feet from sliding around.

The very best part of yoga is that within a few weeks, your friends will remark how good you’re looking, and how calm and peaceful.

Yoga is not simply a series of exercises, but rather a philosophy of life. It’s been around as long as acupuncture–at least 6000 years–arriving in the US a little more than 100 years ago.

The word yoga itself means “yoke” or “union” in the ancient language of Sanskrit, and the ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve a state of harmony (a union) among mind, body, and spirit. It’s no cult or religion, but rather a way of looking at life in a more spiritual and meditative way. Whatever your religious beliefs, they’ll likely be enhanced by a yoga perspective.

The written description of yoga first appeared in a book from the second century BCE called The Yoga Sutras (a sutra is a teaching or precept) and provided a multi-fold path to spiritual enlightenment. The techniques to enlightenment included meditation, breathing techniques, and physical exercises. The Sutras describe four paths of yoga. Karma yoga brings a union with supreme spirit by performing right actions with no thought of reward. Bhakti yoga asks that you willingly surrender yourself to the divine. Jnana yoga tells of union through the quest for knowledge of the external world. Hatha yoga is a system of postures, called asanas, which, when regularly practiced, are part of the path to enlightenment. And although each of the four paths is of interest to an advanced yoga student, it’s the last of these, the asanas, that concern us the most.

Most yoga classes teach Hatha yoga, and the instructor will guide you through some asanas in each session. Astonishingly, there are more than 1,000 asanas, ranging from simple quiet sitting to positions that seem so impossibly contorted that photographs of famous Yogis doing their stuff appear computer generated.

In addition to Hatha yoga, there are now many other 21st century forms of yoga available in larger cities, but all remain Hatha-based. Iyengar yoga adds some nifty props, like chairs, blocks, and belts. Kripalu yoga emphasizes breath and meditation. Ashtanga, or power yoga, is a strength and muscle builder. Viniyoga, the precursor of Iyengar and Ashtanga, is tailored toward a person’s body type, and stresses a sense of harmonious healing. And definitely not for the faint-of-heart or under-hydrated, Bikram yoga practices its 26 asanas in a room heated to 105 degrees. If you’re not in such great shape, think twice about Ashtanga or Bikram yoga, as these are physically very challenging.

Next time: getting started.

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.

DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • Commonly Missed Diagnosis: Early Autoimmune Disease

    Amazingly enough, there are more than 100 different autoimmune conditions, which collectively are responsible for more chronic illness and disability in women than heart disease and cancer combined. Men can get autoimmune diseases too, but the predominance in women (2:1) is striking and also puzzling, though current thinking attributes this susceptibility to a combination of genes and hormones. Because autoimmune conditions can affect any area Read More

  • Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: B12 Deficiency

    You’re pretty sure you know your body and you tell your doctor you’re just not feeling right. You’re tired, maybe a little depressed, a bit achy. Maybe your digestion is “off.” The list of foods you can’t seem to enjoy is definitely longer. Your doctor’s empathic, not at all dismissive of your symptoms, but after a physical exam and some apparently appropriate tests she can’t Read More

  • What is Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and Can It Help Me?

    Ten years ago April marks the anniversary of the first time I wrote about low-dose naltrexone (LDN). I described it as an orphan drug, meaning that its patent had long ago expired, that it was generic, and that it was not owned by any one company. For these reasons and because they’d never recoup their investment, no Big Pharma company was interested in pursuing the Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!