Yoga’s Role in the Western Landscape

Sunday Morning Contemplations on Yoga’s Role in The Western Landscape:
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In the collaborative book “Yoga and Science In Pain Care,” Matthew Taylor, Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT, PhD), states, “This need for patience is no more evident than when what is old brings forward the new and the new imagines it is new only to discover it is describing the old.”

Indeed, there are many advances in research and Yoga and how Yoga can be applied and is beneficial in pain care management.

[Incidentally, “management” of pain care is a mechanized term, a belief or a theory stemming from the Enlightenment age, and philosophers such as Renee Descarts and Thomas Willis, as well as Andreas Vesalius, founder of modern human anatomy — who are forwarded the study of the human being as parts rather than whole.]

We tend to perceive these — integrating Yoga into pain care management — as “new developments,” and yet, it points back to very old models, theories and beliefs.

Yoga’s role in pain care includes addressing the whole person, not a part of the person. It includes Asana, Meditation, Pranayama, and Philosophy that together create lifestyle changes that are beneficial to the whole being.

This also means that a “yoga for this” and a “yoga for that” is a commodification of yoga, which is, an appropriation or colonialism of yoga into our Western model of medical care.

And yet, it is helping SO many.

Integrating Yoga into pain care management practices requires an integration of the MAGICAL theories around pain (that it derives from spirits, spells, retribution from the gods [this understanding has in modern times been used to bypass the individual’s experience as “deserved” or “self-created” or “there is a purpose or a learning in the pain”]) with the RATIONAL theories (specificity, intensity and pattern) with the POSTMODERN theories (recognizing pain as dynamic and complex) to where we can understand pain as emergent of a biopsychosocial model, including the individual, the community, societal structures, and the environment.

=== PAIN is emergent on many levels, from the BIO physical injury or illness, food deserts, malnutrition, bad water supplies, to the PSYCHO-SOCIAL stress of lack of access to healthcare, shelter, secure home environment, societal structures and systems, pollution, lack of access to compassionate and supportive social networks. ===

YOGA Can Help.

And I would argue that shifting towards an INTEGRAL model of understanding pain, and including Yoga as a means for working with it, is inherently intertwined with becoming ANTI-RACIST, because we cannot separate it.

YOGA THERAPY. Have you tried it?

Do you want to know more?

Ask Me.



Embodied Living with Kristen Boyle

Kristen Boyle is a Yoga Therapist and master yoga teacher, working with students, teachers and clients, all over the world.