Yesterday, I spent the day teaching at the Northwest Area Health Education Center at Wake Forest School of Medicine. The class consisted of counselors, therapists, a psychiatrist resident and a neuropscyhologist researcher – all of whom had taken time out of their busy schedules to come and learn about the therapeutic benefits of yoga.
Now, I’ve been teaching yoga and watching yoga trends for a long time – but it’s only been in the past few years that yoga has been getting serious attention from the health profession. There is a tremendous groundswell of interest in yoga as a complementary therapy and it seems like everyone wants to know how they can use these simple, powerful techniques to help themselves and their clients/patients.
I have been contacted by several other AHECs in North Carolina to provide similar classes for their students. And The Subtle Yoga Teacher Training program for Behavioral Health Professionals at MAHEC is starting up again August 22 – we have participants attending from Wisconsin and California. One therapist applicant commented, “I’ve been searching for a training like this for years! You do realize that you are the only people in the country doing this, don’t you?”
It’s not that we are the only folks teaching about yoga and mental health in the country (although I do think that we have a unique take on it) – it’s that MAHEC, a well respected continuing education institution, is supporting it.
Last week, a student came up to me after class at Asheville Community Yoga and told me that the practice we had done in the beginning of class, Bhramari Pranayama (bumblebee breath), had helped her, more than the medication she had been given, to regulate her irregular heart beat and associated anxiety. Yes, there’s research that also shows this.
And today another student told me through Facebook that Legs up the wall is the most reliable thing she can do to minimize her PTSD induced tachycardia.
Yoga is neither expensive nor laden with dangerous side effects. It can offer potent therapeutic support for an array of mental and physical challenges.
But the world needs more professionals who can teach this art/science and adapt it to specific clientele. For example, I teach yoga nidra for PTSD and the US military has done numerous studies to support its use. But yesterday, a therapist who specializes in women’s recovery from sexual trauma said she probably wouldn’t use it with her clients because it could trigger women who have been sexually assaulted – lying on the floor, being spoken to softly, etc. Of course! What a great insight. But we need specialists to make these kinds of calls and to continue to do the amazing research that is supporting yoga’s therapeutic application.
In addition to our training for Behavioral Health Professionals – we are also offering an intensive RYT500 Therapeutics Training – in a format more suitable for people coming from far away to train with us. So far we have people participating from Japan, Mexico and Europe.
I hope you find a chance today to do something relaxing and soothing for yourself – like putting your legs up the wall for 10 minutes.
love and shanti, Kaoverii