Yoga and Chiropractic Care: smart practices for challenging times
Yoga and Chiropractic are both systems based on the inherent wisdom of the body and are best understood when we can experience that wisdom in our own bodies. They teach us how to hear the unique language of the body, thus encouraging us to claim jurisdiction over our own health care. The philosophies are not new: the body heals itself when it is well cared for. We can look to Chiropractic care and yoga to guide us through body knowing how best to learn that care.
In the natural world, our bodies speak clearly. Feet and legs running on the forest floor can remind us of beaters on drum skins. Amid a pod of dolphins in the wild sea, one could reach for a fin and ask to swim belly to back with one of these elegant creatures. On the earth’s surface wind blows everywhere; it finds breath and opens lungs wider than they can bear even while the sun ignites the heart and warms the skin. This planet constantly reminds us that we are bodies of her body.
Our electronic mechanized lifestyle does not lend itself as well to body knowing. When our postural (think computer neck and shoulders) or behavioral (think type A person’s muscle tension) habits prevent us from engaging in different activities, the body compresses on itself and is no longer open to a dynamic engagement with life. We stop enjoying outdoor sports and we don’t sign up for exercise classes because they aren’t fun anymore. When we stop moving, we prevent new patterns from emerging. We stop the flow of life force that is essential for health.
At times like these, we are thankful for the Chiropractor. Chiropractic adjustment restores spinal motion promoting coordination and greater ease of movement. As we rediscover joint movement, we improve function. Each time we are treated the body remembers movement that is adaptable.
So too, do yoga asanas remind our bodies that they are adaptable. When we practice mindfully, we experience our bodies as having a multitude of options within a balanced framework and we can explore movement beneath our patterned behaviors.
Both Chiropractic and Yoga provide opportunities for us to participate in a dialogue with the body. Through this conversation, we introduce conscious awareness to subconscious physical patterns, prompting the nervous system to continually make new connections: connections between mind and body, and dare we hope between heart and soul.