Next week we will start the second module of the Parimukti Yoga Therapy Training with a focus on ‘Yoga Therapy for Common Lifestyle Diseases. In the following series you will read more about what common lifestyle diseases are and how yoga can be used in a therapeutical setting. We choose to focus on lifestyle diseases, as most yoga therapist will encounter clients presenting complaints in that disease category, and since changes in the actual lifestyle, habits, and mind set have such great impact and benefit.

What are Lifestyle Diseases?
Lifestyle diseases are being described as “diseases that appear to the increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer. They can include Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, atherosclerosis, asthma, cancer, chronic liver disease or cirrhosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, chronic renal failure, osteoporosis, stroke, depression and obesity.” (source: Wikipedia)

 

Not un-expectantly we can see a clear distinction between the top 10 diseases causing death in low-income countries and high-income countries, as depicted in the figure below (source: World Health Organization). Lifestyle diseases populate the top in high-income countries, were we see more infectious diseases in low-income countries.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 15.50.06 Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 15.50.37

What do lifestyle diseases have in common?
As lifestyle diseases are related to the degree of civilization, the way of life is what triggers the emergence of these diseases typically.The following are common factors present in the live of people with a lifestyle disease.

  • Stress: high levels of (perceived) stress
  • Nutrition: more meat, dairy products, sugary foods, soda’s
  • Substances: alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse
  • Exercise: lack of exercise

I am presenting the factors in a linear order, but actually STRESS should be depicted in the middle with all of the other factors as bubbles around them. They can be contributing to the disorder or be the result of the (perceived) stress also.

We all know how stress feels, acute and chronic. But what does stress do to our bodies and mind on a physiological level? You will read more about that in my next blog post.


Merel Martens

Merel is the founder of Parimukti Yoga & Meditation Center aiming to spread the beauty and benefits of yoga with everyone. For Merel, Yoga is awareness, both on the mat and in everyday life. Classes and teachings serve as an inspiration when stepping into daily life.

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