What is Medical Yoga?
Medical Yoga (MediYoga) is a swedish-developed and therapeutic form of yoga that suits everyone including people with physical or psychological limitations. It was established and developed by Göran Boll at IMY, the Institute for Medical Yoga, in Stockholm, Sweden. It has its origins in classic Kundalini yoga and started to take shape as early as 1998, when an initial partnership project was launched with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. This consisted of a study of what yoga could offer for patients with chronic back pain. Many different studies have been undertaken since then involving Medical Yoga and its effects on various patient groups and medical disorders in general.
In a Medi Yoga class we work with a mix of gentle breathing techniques, vibrations and sounds and meditation that have been researched in Sweden and internationally. It’s a soft meditative but also powerful form of yoga with a deep impact on both mind and body. Medi Yoga sees the human being from a holistic point of view – body, mind and soul energy. During a yoga session, we work specifically with breathing techniques and exercises addressing the underlying energy system, as described by Kundalini yoga, Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
What is Medical Yoga good for?
Scientific research is increasingly showing that stress in its various forms is the underlying cause of most of what we call illnesses and that powerful tools are needed to re-establish and maintain balance in our lives. Many people cannot cope with the changes and demands placed on them, both as a society and as individuals. Today, there is a major need for more comprehensive holistic solutions.
Medi Yoga is a holistic method that works harmoniously with the healthcare system. It is a very powerful tool in combating stress, burn out and other imbalances and it is simple to use. There are yoga exercises to suit everyone, yogic techniques that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life. Practiced regularly the physical movements, deep breathing and relaxation can help lower blood pressure, reduced back pain and overall health. Medi Yoga is now recommended by healthcare professionals throughout Sweden and Norway. It is yoga for healing; healing on the people who need it. The goal is to create body awareness that connects the mental and physical aspects and allows self- healing to take place. Medical Yoga can help you gain greater consciousness, stability, calm and harmony along with numerous other health benefits.
How is Medi Yoga performed?
You choose whether you want to do the exercises on a chair or on a yoga mat. Medi Yoga’s proven effects require a certain repetition and rhythm, and therefore we always follow a certain “recipe” that includes tuning in, long deep breathing, physical exercise, relaxation, meditation and tuning out. The class includes breathing and concentration exercises, sounds (mantras) and physical movements.
Medical Yoga’s mission is to create a regulated and quality assured yoga that through research and clinical evaluation can be used in the swedish healthcare system. In order to work in the field of health care, evidence is needed to substantiate that it really works. In collaboration with several leading hospitals in Sweden, research on Medi Yoga has been carried out since 1998 that demonstrate yoga as a practical tool that really works. These studies have shown measurable effects on back and sleep problems, high blood pressure, ventricular fibrillation, various emotional problems and other disorders. Since then, Medi Yoga has participated in more than 90% of the scientific research on yoga in Sweden. Today there is no doubt that meditation and yoga give positive results!
Medical yoga is currently offered at more than 160 hospitals and healthcare centers in Sweden within the range of different categories such as stress / fatigue, psychiatry, cancer care, elderly care, heart / vascular and palliative care, etc. Research studies also include studies performed at large companies such as the Post Giro Stress project in 1999 and the Swedish Enforcement Authority Stress project in 2009. Since 2004, Medi Yoga has been one of the most popular rehabilitation options for employees on long-term sick leave at AstraZeneca.