America is a multicultural society. The search for continuity among diverse backgrounds continues with more and more people from other countries bringing traditions that have been in their families for centuries to America.
A well-known tradition influencing the American population from India is Yoga. The ancient tradition of Yoga made its way into America in the 1970s and it continues its presence into our high tech life. America is finding ways to use the practice of Yoga in healthcare, businesses, schools and everyday life. This tradition was embraced and tailored to fit into America’s Modern Society for all humans irregardless of age, gender, weight, physical challenges, etc.
Yoga influenced my career as a Professional Nurse and evolved it in the direction of Wellness Care. After studying the “Fundamentals of Yoga” within a basic 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training which encompassed its philosophy, history of folklore and the people who established it, I decided to embrace an in-depth study of the physical components of Yoga which are the postures and breath work. I sought out medical professionals who practice, study and teach Yoga to learn from their medical perspective about breath, movement, limitations, mindfulness, and modifications to postures. This ultimately fulfilled my profession as a Registered Nurse and RegisteredYoga Instructor.
Nurses are integrating Yoga into their Scope of Practice and becoming Yoga Instructors in order to facilitate the healing process within hospitals and out-patient clinics. Recently I took a continuing education program: “Yoga Nursing Essentials” by Annette Tersigni, RN, “The Yoga Nurse”. The course focused on the use of Yoga for Stress Management and provided ways to integrate Yoga into patient care. The course was a preliminary requirement for membership into Annette’s Yoga Nurse Academy.
The American Journal of Holistic Nursing publishes on-going research by nurses on the benefits of Yoga to manage pain, fatigue and anxiety. Corporate Nurse Wellness Consultants are using Restorative Yoga in coaching sessions to manage stress, relieve tension and improve productivity while at work. Managed Care is starting to recognize the use of Yoga when part of a therapeutic program overseen by a physician as well as provide coverage through Wellness Accounts.
Yoga has become modernized while sustaining its integrity as an art and science. Using Yoga as a tool to connect the energies between breathing, movement, alignment of the body and concentration of the mind empowers people to take charge of their health. Yoga provides me with an enhanced feeling of well-being and not a day goes by without taking the time to incorporate it into my daily life.
My deepest appreciation for the tradition of Yoga and the people who introduced it to us here in America. Nameste.