Lately, I’ve been asked questions that typically a doctor hears. What can I do for heartburn, sinus problems, bursitis in the shoulder (see previous posting)?
Yes, I teach yoga but I’m not a doctor and will never claim to be. My best resources for helping people are a) my experience, personal and teaching, b) Mr. Google, as my Grandmother calls it, and c) my ongoing studies about yoga as therapy. Combined I have been able to point people in the right direction.
I write this post to remind yoga students that yoga teachers are just that: yoga teachers. We’re not doctors.
It doesn’t hurt to ask your yoga teacher for advice, but trust your intuition and play an active role in your recovery, vs. assuming what your teacher says is correct and doing it. Yes, more experienced yoga practitioners and teachers will be able to offer more sage advice. Some may actually be M.D.s by trade, though my assumption they’re the minority. Part of being a yoga teacher is having an understanding of which poses can heal or improve a condition, as well as knowing which poses might aggravate a current health condition (contraindications). Your teacher’s advice might be on target but again it’s important to listen to your gut feelings and don’t be passive in dealing with your health condition.
Long blog post short: trust your intuition, do your research (on and off your yoga mat), talk to your yoga teacher, and see a doctor if your condition continues to be a concern.