PTI

In order to limit the exposure and transmission of Covid-19, PTI will be exclusively doing tele-psychiatry (virtual) visits. You will still have your appointment, you will just have to do it with our Virtual Psych Network (VPN™). Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

YOGA as a Coping Skill

Regular exercise can help alleviate stress and improve your mental health.

Can you touch your toes?  Have you been sitting in a desk or on the couch far too much?  It’s easy to do, especially when it’s steaming hot outside.  This week, we’d like to focus on things to do versus only talking about the challenges of dealing with mental illness.

Benefits of Yoga

There are many physical and mental health benefits of having a yoga practice.  Even if it’s just once a week, it can help stretch those muscles and tendons that have been sitting idle while you’ve been sitting idle.  Yoga is a great, low-impact warm up for your body to get the blood flowing, helping you feel awake and energized.

One of the main benefits of yoga is balancing tension and calm, something that we do in our lives everyday.  However, yoga stretches your body and mind with challenging stretches while also asking you to focus on maintaining a presence of mind and deep breathing throughout the experience.

Improving flexibility over time can help alleviate aches and pains in joints.  As you continue your practice and increasing flexibility, you will also gradually add strength to your muscles, all of which combine to help prevent arthritis.  Yoga has also been shown to help with strengthening bones, which is especially important for women as they proactively fight against osteoporosis.

Do you ever feel drained at the end of the day?  Improved posture can help with fatigue and feeling zapped.  There’s even poses, such as shoulder stands and twists, that are fairly easy and can help naturally boost your energy near the end of the day rather than just relying on a Coke or Mountain Dew.

Do you get sick often?  Doing yoga can help drain your lymphatic system, which helps fight illnesses, cancer, and remove metabolic wastes from your cells.

Do you experience sadness or anxiety?  Yoga can also help with lowering cortisol, an enzyme which, when maintained at high levels, is linked with long term depression, anxiety, memory loss, and higher blood pressure.

Rather than just doing a few poses at home, getting out in the community for a yoga class can spur new relationships and practice leaving your ego at the door while you challenge yourself in new ways– something we can all stand to practice.  Oftentimes, beginner classes are extremely friendly to those who are just starting out by using low impact poses that have variations to make things easier or harder.  There isn’t a “fail” in yoga.  If you can’t do a pose, just lay down or do an easier one from earlier in the class.

Adding yoga, workout classes, or a running group to your regimen of weekly coping skills can make a big difference in your quality of life.  Remember, it’s not about what a disease or illness is doing to you, it’s about what you are doing to it.

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