You've suggested. You've coaxed. You've helped your patients to understand the benefits. We know your patients may be full of resistance, and you know what? We feel your frustration. To convince the un-convinceable we present...
The Top 3 Reasons Your Patients Should NOT Practice Yoga
1. That emotional baggage you’re carrying around is heavy enough to be considered strength training.
The emotional stresses your patients carry with them can sabotage their chances at living a fulfilling life and maintaining satisfying relationships. The weight of these stresses can be intensely burdensome. Yoga practice is designed for healing, both mental and physical, from the aftermath of emotional trauma.
When you’re treating a patient that is struggling with emotional wounds, following a chakra-based practice can be beneficial. In “A Yoga Practice for Healing Emotional Trauma,” Mary NurrieStearns recommends the following affirmations:
Go ahead. Take these affirmations for a test drive. We double dog dare your patients to try these for a week and see how they feel.
- I am safe.
- I am alive.
- I choose.
- I feel.
- I express.
- I know.
- I am.
2. Because being wound tighter than a boa constrictor wrapped around its prey feels awesome. And we know your friends love it when you call to say hi, yell about your coworkers, and then slam the phone down without asking about their day.
Chronic stress can suppress functions that aren’t needed for immediate survival. It lowers immunity, impacts the digestive system, and can even interrupt the reproductive system. Stress can also impact your patient’s sleep schedule. No matter what your client is striving to improve about their mental health, when their physical health is suffering, treating their mental well-being will be challenging.
But how do you combat the patient who tells you they simply can’t find time to practice yoga, and cutting out taking the kids to soccer practice isn’t an option? There are plenty of yoga breathing techniques that can be practiced in traffic, in front of the computer, or while standing in line. Even these short sessions bring stress relief, and help your patient manage the discomforts of anxiety. Have your frantically busy patients try this:
3. You love being locked up so securely that you are impervious to any emotion. We’re sure your partner feels twitterpated when you gush your lukewarm feelings.
Everyone wants to love and be loved. It’s human desire. But when we can’t express our feelings, thoughts, and desires to the people that matter most in our lives, our relationships suffer. It can be a challenge to dis-armour ourselves and unveil our innermost heart. But when we start to expose this side of our body we discover deeper connections to those around us.
Yoga not only improves the physical health of our hearts, but it can kindle within us the ability to heal ourselves. For patients struggling to open their hearts, try poses geared to the heart chakra such as sphinx, camel, cat or fish.For your clients seeking comfort and healing, we hope they open their mind to the practice of yoga.
What's your favorite reason for practicing yoga?
Tell us in the comments below!
Mary NurrieStearns, MSW, LCSW, RYT