Yoga is increasingly ubiquitous in the United States and globally. The growth of yoga's popularity alongside Indian healing philosophies, including Ayurvedic medicine, makes yoga an important influence on conceptualization of health in holistic terms. Because of these philosophies, the growing use of yoga has implications for how healthcare is sought and utilized. Yoga practitioners are likely to engage in pluralistic health care-seeking practices, yet, the underlying perspectives that drive yoga practitioners to engage in particular health practices are poorly understood in anthropological and public health literature. This study examined perspectives on health care-seeking among long-term yoga practitioners in a yoga community in Florida. Based on semi-structured interviews conducted in 2010 with 26 adults in a Florida yoga center who have practiced yoga at least once per week for at least one year, the study found that long-term yoga practitioners utilized yoga and other systems of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to address health needs that were not met by biomedicine. Moreover, once individuals embarked on long-term yoga practice, they expanded their health care-seeking practices to other CAMs. This study contributes to understanding of the pluralization of health care-seeking practices, highlights concerns with the biomedical health system, and contributes to current debates on health care reform.
Yoga as Entrée to Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Medically Pluralistic Practices
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Jacqueline Sivén, Joanna Mishtal; Yoga as Entrée to Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Medically Pluralistic Practices. Human Organization 1 December 2012; 71 (4): 348–357. doi: https://doi.org/10.17730/humo.71.4.f262087603m24816
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