If there’s one thing that Deborah Devine, the effervescent, soothing and knowledgable host of new ONE series Healing Yoga: Yoga for Real People with Real Problems wants people to know, it’s that restoration, both mental and physical, comes from the inside out. A full time yoga instructor, she specializes in restorative yoga, a gentler form of practice that can help individuals with a wide range of health and mobility issues (or simply lower fitness levels) achieve greater health and wellness.
Since taking up the practice years ago, she’s helped others overcome various ailments and limitations, and is eager to share that expertise with an even broader audience on the set of Healing Yoga. Whether treating super-fit athletes recovering from the wear and tear of high-intensity workouts, or people experiencing discomfort and limited mobility while doing everyday activities, Deborah says that this low impact practice can help to manage, minimize, and eventually eliminate pain.
“Maybe it is for people who are dealing with chronic illnesses, or maybe some folks who are just not very mobile because of their physical limitations,” says Deborah. “This program is going to help them gain a little bit more mobility, a little bit more ease and comfort, and put them into a healing zone within their own body.”
In particular, Healing Yoga is series specifically targeted to Zoomers, ages 45 and up, emphasizing achievable and appropriate yoga poses that help ease the symptoms of many age-related issues such as arthritis, menopause, osteoporosis, diabetes, chronic pain, diminishing libido – even anxiety and depression.
The body’s regenerative power is one of the central principles of Healing Yoga, and tapping into our own abilities to recover from both illness and injury is Deborah’s primary goal. She says that the potential of the body’s own, internal “healing environment” is such that it can help us overcome everything from stress and chronic pain, to inflammatory conditions like lupus, fibro myalgia and arthritis. The first step to unlocking that potential is as simple as rethinking our breathing.
“The breath is huge. There’s so much that you can study around the anatomy of the breath, it’s incredible,” Deborah says. “We are divinely designed to have sacred architecture, and there are certain ways that our body works well; if we can find a way to connect with that, we can really heal ourselves.”
The management of those symptoms isn’t the only benefit to unrolling your yoga mat. Restorative yoga, like any yoga practice, can have a profound quality on one’s overall health – physical, mental, and spiritual – and Deborah says that the difference she sees in people as they begin and continue their practice is both rewarding and inspiring.
“By the end of the class or by the end of a few months, to just look at them, you can see a change in their face, you can see a change in the way that they carry themselves,” she says. “You can see them enjoying more activities and just enjoying life more.”
That increased quality of life is something that she believes anyone can achieve by seeking out a type of yoga that makes sense for both their symptoms, and their fitness level. Though she knows that more active and strenuous practices are ideal for some, she doesn’t want those with less experience in the studio to think that their options are limited.
“I believe that yoga is for everyone,” she says. “If people come away from the practice feeling more relaxed, being able to take deeper breaths, and being able to enjoy just a little bit more range of motion and ease of movement, I’ll feel really good about that.”
WATCH: TWO EXCLUSIVE HEALING YOGA WEBISODE EXTRAS