As always the chat will be live on twitter Tuesday 8pm UK time, you can join in by using #OTalk, This week Emily Kellett @EmilyKellett7 will be hosting this is what she had to say –
Yoga is becoming more a of ‘buzz word’ within the healthcare community and more frequently being explored by Occupational Therapists. I first found a love for yoga and mindfulness from a personal perspective and couldn’t believe the benefits my body and mind received – I just had to bring it in to my work!
Within my current role I support children and young people who experience significant sensory processing challenges which manifest as behaviours that challenge. Yoga naturally provides lots of yummy sensory information to our bodies including the increase of tactile information, body awareness and gentle movements which supports our central nervous system to reach a ‘calm and alert’ state.
This therefore, leads to better control over our emotions and thought processes through the inter-linking of body, mind and breath which can lead to improved confidence and self-esteem.
The powerful effect yoga has on calming the central nervous system (which is responsible for understanding how to process sensory information) can be transferred off the mat as well to help individuals within their daily lives.
Yoga is defined as a journey of self-discovery and empowerment; bringing the mind, body and soul together. It enables individuals to feel grounded and connected, creating a sense of control, not only over their own body and thoughts, but over situations in their life also which can be hugely empowering.
OT focuses on enabling individuals to engage in meaningful daily activities despite limitations in their physical, sensory and communication abilities. OT’s view individuals holistically, meaning they look at all aspects of their life, what is important to them and what barriers they may be facing which are preventing them from participating in such activities.
Therefore, yoga and OT both place emphasis on the ‘whole’ person and incorporate the use of the mind and body to enable individuals to live their life to the fullest.
Yoga not only develops our physical health by improving our co-ordination, balance, strength alongside our fine and gross motor skills; it also does a world of good for our mental and emotional wellbeing.
It can be done anywhere, by anyone, there is no time limit, expectations, demands or rules. It can be tailored to our individual needs at that time with faster and more energetic poses, as well as calming and more grounding positions. It can positively impact on our levels of focus, attention, and stress management, as well as supporting an increased understanding of our bodies and knowing how to slow down and relax.
And finally, the big focus on breath in yoga allows our parasympathetic nervous system to come into play and calm our minds and bodies down; preparing us for rest and relaxation as well as supporting our digestion system to work effectively, giving us the nutrients we need to remain healthy!
So stretch, twist, explore and breathe and see how Yoga can benefit you!
The questions I would like to discuss are;
- How do you think yoga and mindfulness techniques can be incorporated into your OT practice?
- What are the barriers to introducing yoga and mindfulness as an OT?
- How do you perceive yoga can influence occupational performance?
- What evaluative tools would you use to measure the effectiveness of yoga and mindfulness within your OT practice?
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