For those of you who have ongoing issues with mobility and pain, an assessment with a Physiotherapist can be essential to understand how you can modify your Yoga practice.
Physiotherapists are specialists in assessment and treatment of the musculoskeletal system we recognise that recovery from injury is significantly linked to psychosocial issues and have developed a model of care that accounts for this.
As a result, Yoga has been recognised as an evidence based approach to holistic care, and can enhance the overall treatment of complex chronic conditions that are sometimes complicated by psychosocial factors 
Here at Your Health Hub, our Physiotherapist Bek has completed her yoga teacher training and is passionate about yoga based therapy to help improve pain, flexibility, strength and to promote overall relaxation in the body.
How can yoga improve your health?
There are many claimed health benefits associated with a regular yoga practice. Some of these include the following:
Flexibility is the range of motion that you have at a joint. Yoga involves moving and breathing. When we use our breath, we are able to tap into our parasympathetic nervous system to relax our body and reduce tension in our soft tissues. When we combine our breath with stretching we can influence the length of these soft tissue structures. With repeated exposure to stretching and breathing, we can improve our flexibility overtime.
Yoga involves body weight training which is a form of strength training that does not involve free weights or machines as your own body weight provides the resistance against gravity. There are specific yoga poses or Asanas that have been designed to build strength in the body. In one large randomised controlled trial, 79 adults were assigned to perform 24 cycles of sun salutations — a series of foundational poses often used as a warm-up — six days a week for 24 weeks. As a result, these 79 participants experienced a significant increase in upper body strength, endurance and even weight loss .
A study conducted in 2015 also had similar findings, showing that 12 weeks of a 1 hour weekly yoga practice led to improvements in endurance, and strength.
Yoga is also known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation. In fact, multiple studies have shown that it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.
Another study (a randomised comparative trial of yoga and relaxation to reduce stress and anxiety) of 131 people had similar results, showing that 10 weeks of yoga helped reduce stress and anxiety. It also helped improve quality of life and mental health.
Another study (Yoga as an adjunctive treatment for post traumatic stress disorder: a randomised controlled trial) followed 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterised by severe anxiety and fear following exposure to a traumatic event.
After 10 weeks, the women who practiced yoga once weekly had fewer symptoms of PTSD. In fact, 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all.
With more and more research emerging each year, it will be interesting to see how yoga will be continued to be recognised for its positive influence on overall health and well being.
If you are interested in trying a yoga class, or would like Bek to come out and run a class at your workplace please contact our friendly reception staff on 61220150.
Rebekah Wilcher is a Physiotherapist & Yoga Instructor at Your Health Hub in Bellerive. Provides Physiotherapy assessment and treatment, including exercise prescription for musculo-skeletal and neurological conditions.She teaches classes including Yoga, move well live well, and general circuit training.
Rebekah’s special interest areas include: working with Neurological conditions including Parkinson’s, Stroke and MS, Therapeutic yoga and getting people moving from all walks of life!
For more information about how Yoga can help you or to book an initial assessment with Rebekah’s email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03 6122 0150.
Sanders, T., Foster, N. E., Bishop, A., & Ong, B. N. (2013). Biopsychosocial care and the physiotherapy encounter: physiotherapists’ accounts of back pain consultations. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 14(1), 65.
 Posadzki, P., & Parekh, S. (2009). Yoga and physiotherapy: a speculative review and conceptual synthesis. Chinese journal of integrative medicine, 15(1), 66-72.
 Bhutkar, M. V., Bhutkar, P. M., Taware, G. B., & Surdi, A. D. (2011). How Effective Is Sun Salutation in Improving Muscle Strength, General Body Endurance and Body Composition? Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 2(4), 259–266.
Lau, C., Yu, R., & Woo, J. (2015). Effects of a 12-Week Hatha Yoga Intervention on Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Muscular Strength and Endurance, and Flexibility in Hong Kong Chinese Adults: A Controlled Clinical Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2015, 958727. http://doi.org/10.1155/2015/958727