Update: 12/16/2018 I just learned that Healing Yoga is closing it’s doors. However, I have decided to leave this article up so that people know that there is such a thing as a yoga/therapy blend that can be very powerful treatment, especially for folks with PTSD. If you are reading this and know of another local resource that offers this type of treatment, please let me know. ~ Andrea
I’ve written a little about how yoga is an activity that has benefits for for everyone is beneficial for just about everyone. Healing Yoga (Douglassville, PA) takes it one step farther. Recommended to me by a colleague, the instructor, Dorian Abel is a licensed professional counselor who is skilled at incorporating her professional expertise into some of her yoga classes. However, even basic yoga classes should provide wonderful ways to develop skills that benefit a person’s mental well-being. As I write this segment (July ’16), in comparison to prices for yoga classes at other locations that I’ve looked at in the area, her prices are quite reasonable. The individual session fee is definitely more expensive but my suggestion would be, if you are considering that option but are concerned about the expense, it might be possible to do it once as a consultation and then work to incorporate what you learn into your yoga class experience, on your own.
Yoga is good for the body AND the mind. In addition to the obvious health benefits of regular exercise, a good yoga instructor creates an environment that promotes:
- A sense of serenity and acceptance for who you are in the moment.
- Guidance for how you can recognize when your “monkey mind” is swinging from thought to thought with the worries of the day and gently turn your attention back to the present moment and the feeling of your nourishing breath
- Feeling comfortable in your own skin.
- Increasing confidence as your strength and flexibility grows.
There is a TON of research that strongly supports using yoga to assist with the treatment of: anxiety (including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder); depression; ADHD; sleep problems; substance abuse, anger issues, and schizophrenia (when done in conjunction with medication). It’s an activity that can be modified for people of any age, from 2 to 102, and you can take with you anywhere you go! There are even some instructors that have training in both mental health therapy and yoga and can customize the work to really target anxiety and trauma specifically, teaching you how to be comfortable in your own body again.
Personally, my ability to use relaxation breathing as a skill in my daily life has never left me, even though I haven’t done a class for almost 10 years. One day, when my life gets a bit simpler, I fully intend to return to the benefits of a more regular, devoted yoga practice. In the meantime, I remind myself the words of wisdom of one of my former instructors, “Even one sun salutation is a yoga practice.”
Skills That Are Helpful with Anxiety & Depression
- How to Use Mindfulness to Work With Difficult Emotions: A Six Step Process
- How to Mindfully Sit with Anxiety
Talking to Children About Terrorism and War (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology)
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