Yoga As A Lifestyle Helps You Tune Into And Understand Natural Rhythms of Life

by Jaime Sanchez, E-RYT 500, ND, founder of West-East Natural Healing Traditional Yoga School

Established in 1996 at Saint Louis University, West-East Natural Healing Traditional Yoga School is the oldest yoga program in the city of St. Louis, MO. We have offered certified 200-hour yoga teacher trainings since 1998 and recently registered its 500-hour program with Yoga Alliance this past Fall.

The program has been enriched and refined over many years of experience. Students are taught many aspects of yoga, both modern and ancient, while great emphasis is placed on the principle that yoga is not merely a physical practice. It is a lifestyle that fosters a healthier way of being by helping us tune in to and understand the natural rhythms of life and nature. Recently, we have rediscovered the wisdom of our Native American ancestors and introduced a form of yoga and meditation called Sujuy TukuI or Yoga Maya.

West-East Natural Healing Traditional Yoga School is pre-registered with the State of Missouri and is operating at Elements of Wellness in the St. Louis area, San Diego State University, Be Well Now in Alton, IL, Uptown Yoga Center in Waterloo, Illinois, and Managua Nicaragua in Central America.

In my 50 years of teaching experience, I have noticed great improvement in yoga practitioners with preexisting conditions, such as musculoskeletal limitations, mental health problems, mood disorders, respiratory problems, arthritis and other related illnesses. When I taught at Christian Hospital North County, many of the students who attended physical therapy and yoga simultaneously were eventually advised by their medical doctors to only continue the yoga practice during their final stage of recovery.
Although the effects of yoga have not been extensively scientifically studied, there are some studies that confirm its’ healing effects. For example, during a UK clinical trial, it was found that yoga significantly helped to reduce lower back pain. A series of postures and warm ups can especially release stress, pain and tension in the muscles and the spinal cord.

Yoga has been an inspiration for many other forms of exercise and health-related programs. A group of social workers that practice yoga in Massachusetts created a successful program called “Life Force Yoga”, which is dedicated to working with veteran soldiers to reduce post-war stress.

There are many different forms, styles and modalities of yoga. Hatha Yoga, which encompasses the physical aspects of yoga, transforms the asana practice into a meditative experience, while paying close attention to the breath.

If you are already a yoga practitioner, you’ve probably seen a glimpse of yoga’s life changing potential. If you are sick, you might consider giving it a try. If you are depressed or anxious, tired all the time, addicted to drugs, or bothered by low back pain, yoga can set you on the path to recovery. A yoga practice can easily be modified to accommodate individual needs. In fact, many teachers are trained to accommodate injuries or limitations and to teach multi-level classes. For this reason, anyone can participate in yoga whether they are small children, wheelchair-bound individuals, or older adults because the practice can easily be modified to accommodate individual needs. Yoga is not a competition. Therefore, we should listen to our bodies and respect how it is feeling each and every moment. Some days, you will feel stronger or more flexible than others, and if you are patient with yourself, you will see a gradual improvement over time. The beauty of yoga is that it works in deep in the body, stretching all the muscles, joints and bones and stimulating the flow of fluids. It also works on the emotional level to create a sense of balance, harmony, and security by educating the mind to be relaxed, fresh, sharp, open and clear. In other words, the primary aim of yoga is to “educate the mind and discipline the body”.

Jaime Sanchez, E-RYT 500, ND has been a dedicated yoga instructor since 1964. He has learned the Solar, Iyengar, and Sivananda methods in courses in North America, South America, and Spain. He has also extensively studied yoga philosophy and Sanskrit.
Jaime has been a naturopath since 1995. He studied acupuncture in mainland China with Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He started practicing yoga at the age of eight and became a yoga teacher in Venezuela in 1967. He taught yoga for 10 years at Saint Louis University and Christian Hospital, is a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher (500 hours), founder of a number of yoga and wellness centers in Venezuela and America and is an East West Natural Healing, Inc. International lecturer in Spain, Mexico, Venezuela China and the USA. He runs the oldest yoga teacher training program in St. Louis. His yoga teacher training is an internationally recognized certification course, which is registered with Yoga Alliance. Jaime is teaching with the highest standards of practice- as required by the International Yoga Regulations System- with the development of teaching skills necessary to introduce students to Hatha Yoga safely and effectively. The course is open to yoga teachers, aspiring teachers and yoga practitioners who would like to learn the core foundation of yoga methods.

For more information contact West-East Natural Healing Traditional School of Yoga, 503-810-6708, 9715 Olive Blvd., Olivette, MO 63132 or visit online at www.natudoc.com.