When my friend and collegue Samantha Noto proposed the idea of a holding a Subtle Yoga Convention, I thought she was joking – I giggled that we could give away squishy stress relief toys.
But she wasn’t. “We need people to help us get yoga out there, let’s kick it off with a convention.” she suggested.
So, on October 1, we’re going to meet at Community Yoga in Charlotte.
(The Charlotte convention center was unavailable on such short notice – but don’t worry, we’ll reserve it for next year!)
What we are serious about is changing public health through yoga.
We believe that yoga, which currently is only practiced by a small sector of the population, has the power to revolutionize the state of health and the quality of life of millions more people – of the whole culture. If nurses, teachers, behavioral health professionals and other health and human services industry folks can begin to understand how yoga can benefit them personally, and also benefit the people that they serve, we can begin to make a significant change in the health outcomes of our country.
And, unfortunately, there’s really no where to go except healthier.
I mentioned this in the Charlotte RYT200 training last weekend, and one of my students responded, “Yeah, the only sicker we could get is dead.”
What do we know about our dismal health outcomes?
- The U.S. spends twice as much on health care per capita ($7,129) than any other country. Source: National Center for Health Statistics
- 75% of all health care dollars are spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Source: Health Affairs
- The United States ranks 43rd in lowest infant mortality rate, down from 12th in 1960 and 21st in 1990. Some of the other 42 nations that have a lower infant mortality rate than the US include Hong Kong, Slovenia, and Cuba. Source: CIA Factbook (2008)
- Life expectancy at birth in the US is an average of 78.14 years, which ranks 47th compared to other countries. Source: CIA Factbook (2008)
- About half of the bankruptcy filings in the United States are due to medical expenses. Source: Health Affairs Journal 2005
What do you we know that yoga can do?
Dr. Timothy McCall has compiled an evidence-based list of over 50 conditions benefited by yoga practice some of the highlights of these studies show that:
- Yoga mitigates stress, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and PTSD
- Yoga helps manage diabetes
- Yoga helps heart disease, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure
- Yoga help back pain, neck pain, chronic pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, scoliosis, carpal tunnel, balance problems, obesity, insomnia, infertility…whew - you can read the rest of the list and studies here.
Yoga can be delivered affordably, in many different contexts beyond fitness centers or yoga studios, it can be adapted to meet the challenges of most conditions, and it is personally empowering. Plus there is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates its efficacy.
What do we know about the social forces that are driving the market for yoga?
- The current trend of healthcare is integrative medicine – NIH, SAMHSA and the IOM are all calling for integrative approaches to health and wellness. Yoga is the original integrative medicine, equally attending to the body, mind and spirit.
- The future of medicine is prevention. There is no better prevention strategy than a daily yoga practice.
- In June the White House released it’s National Prevention Strategy which included the need to expand preventative services in local communities. Let’s get yoga to the people.
That’s where you come in. As a yoga teacher or enthusiast, you have the power to share one of the most transformative tools available – a tool that can not only change each individual’s health, but can also change the health of families, communities and the entire society. The power is in the practice. And we want to help you access that power and bring yoga to the people that matter to you.
Join us October 1 at Community Yoga near Charlotte. We will strategize about how we can bring yoga to various underserved populations and share ideas about bridging the gap between the yoga world and traditional health care. You can increase your knowledge base with two workshops: “Yoga for Cancer” and “Yoga for Trauma.” Some of the graduates from Subtle Yoga Trainings will be presenting how they’ve been bringing yoga to various populations.
We’d love you to join us and be part of the yoga solution! Let’s move forward together to share the healing power of yoga with the world.