How yoga can complement your OT sessions.
Written by Caitlan Plowright
8th July, 2020.
What is yoga? The foundation of yoga lies in Patanjali’s eight limbs or stages of yoga; which offers strategies or tools to help you achieve a more meaningful life, something we aim for with our occupational therapy goals, almost always. They are as follows;
- Yama: your ethical standards, your sense of integrity and how you conduct yourself through life.
- Niyama: self-discipline and personal observances.
- Asana: taking care of your body (the body postures practiced in yoga).
- Pranayama: breath control.
- Pratyahara: deep awareness and control of your senses.
- Dharana: concentration, learning how to slow down your thinking process and shift your focus.
- Dhyana: being aware without focus, or meditation.
- Samadhi: enlightenment.
Without going into too much detail about the Sanskrit or the intricacies of yoga, it is essentially the practice of mindfulness and learning to listen to your body while breathing and moving to stimulate your body and mind. There have been countless studies showing that the benefits of yoga have been linked to; reductions in stress levels, anxiety, depression, pain, fatigue; and that yoga may reduce the likelihood of developing some diseases; as well as the chances of improving recovery from some physical and mental injuries.
The methodologies of occupational therapy and yoga are both very holistic in nature, both concerned with the integration of mind and body to allow a person to reach their goals and both aimed at improving well-being. The benefit of including yoga within your occupational therapy (OT) sessions is that your therapist is well versed in grading and adapting the environment and the activity to ensure it is appropriate and safe for the person to allow them to achieve their goals.
The OT’s at Lifeworks Occupational Therapy support our clients who are experiencing chronic pain, mental health conditions, just to name a few; by providing intervention that encompasses all aspects of their life; from self-care, leisure, social and emotional as well as vocation. Yoga can help with all of these aspects whether you see it as necessary to your self-care routine, a leisure activity or as a means to help you control your stress, anxiety or mood. In essence, yoga and OT are about empowering you to allow you to progress toward health and well-being.
If this has sparked your interest, please ask one of our therapists about how we can integrate yoga into your therapy.
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