Stories about: yoga

The founder, a parent and a patient: Three yogis who are giving back

Yoga family
Anabelle, Bill and Jaime MacDonald

Yoga instructors and practitioners from New England and around the globe come together every year for Yoga Reaches Out. The day-long gathering inspires and unites participants in a day of selfless service or “seva” benefitting families and children.

Now in its eighth year, Yoga Reaches Out has donated over 1.3 million dollars to help fund Boston Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the Heart Center, leukemia research, autism research, a playground, key research and the Wellness Program. Offering free services like yoga and meditation, The Wellness Program is a place for families to gain the strength, resilience and hope they need as their children go through the toughest tests of their young lives.

Read the stories of three yogis giving back this year.

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For a yogi, holistic medicine and surgery go hand in hand

Kocher David
Dr. Mininder Kocher talking with David before surgery on Oct. 14

In any yoga class David Vendetti teaches, there’s sure to be laughing, tears and abundant hugs. David co-owns South Boston Yoga — New England’s largest yoga studio — and teaches every class with positivity and true heart. His unique style has garnered him awards, invitations to travel and, most importantly for David, the respect of the 200 students who come through his studio every day.

Teaching students and training teachers day in and day out requires a healthy mind and body, which had become more and more difficult for David after suffering from 10 years of mild lower back and hip pain. “I learned that chronic pain is not only a physical burden but also an emotional one,” says David. “As the pain got more intense, I tried everything,” he explains. “I saw two physical therapists, two different body workers and a chiropractor.”

Then two and a half years ago, things took a sharp turn for the worse. David flew from Boston to Athens to teach a workshop and threw out his back right after checking into the hotel. “It felt like something horrible was happening,” he remembers. “The pain moved to my neck, down into my back and finally settled very painfully into my hips.”

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Why Yoga is like food

Yoga1As far as Emily Davidson, MD, MPH, RYT, is concerned, claiming to not like yoga is like saying you don’t like food. “There’s a really big range of what kinds of yoga practices you can do,” she explains.

Davidson, who is the director of Boston Children’s Down syndrome Program, speaks from personal experience. She started practicing yoga in 1998 after she was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and discovered that, along with improving her flexibility and strength, yoga helped manage the stress of her diagnosis and treatment.

In fact, she liked it so much that she went on to complete a 200-hour yoga teaching program and set out to offer her patients with Down syndrome the same benefits she got from practicing it by launching a yoga class at Boston Children’s Primary Care at Martha Eliot.

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This week on Thrive: Nov. 30 – Dec. 4

Here’s a quick look at what Thrive was up to last week.

Yoga is thought to have many healing powers, but is fighting eating disorders one of them? One patient tells her story of how brain stimulation helps keep her epileptic seizures at bay. Children’s professionalism and ethical practice expert talks about the changing mammography guidelines and gives insight into the health care reform. Children’s Dr. Sharon Levy discusses whether or not home-based drug kits are useful on the MSNBC show “Dr. Nancy.” The National Institute of Health announced 13 new government-approved embryonic stem cell lines, 11 of which were developed at Children’s. The HealthMap team gave us our weekly H1N1 update. Did you know that children with RSV are more likely to be hospitalized than those with seasonal flu? Our Mediatrician sings his praises of Guitar Hero but adds a warning about appropriate lyrics. Good Morning America features Children’s research on autism and facial recognition.

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