Rebecca Cervenak is a disability attorney at Liner Legal, the best team to get you disability benefits in Ohio. She also is involved with the Prison Yoga Project. In honor of International Yoga Day, she wrote this blog to share her thoughts.
June 21 is International Yoga Day, a day set by the United Nations celebrating the spiritual and physical benefits of the practice of yoga. This year, the theme of International Yoga Day is Yoga for Health – Yoga at Home.
Beyond its immediate impact on physical health, the COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated psychological conditions, including depression and anxiety. During the last year, Yoga has continued to increase in popularity as people found new ways to exercise at home. As we continue to cope with social isolation, financial challenges, and physical pain, yoga – embodied mindfulness – as practice for stress reduction and calming the nervous system is needed more than ever by everyone.
As a practicing yogi, I recognize the importance of yoga in my own life. Although I admittedly started practicing to increase my strength and flexibility, the mental and emotional benefits are what keep me coming back to my mat. As a yoga teacher, I’ve seen the impact yoga has had on others, and I want everyone to benefit from this ancient practice that can keep helping you find mental, emotional, and physical balance today.
The practice of combining breath and movement helps us build a connection with our bodies and boost our immune systems. Yoga provides tools for managing the effects of trauma and helps to release trauma stored in the body. It relieves stress and can reduce symptoms of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, and sleep disorders.
While yoga studios have many benefits, yoga can be done anywhere – at home, at a park, and now more and more programs are starting in schools, workplaces, and correctional facilities. As the Program Director for the Prison Yoga Project (PYP), I work to bring yoga to people who are incarcerated, correctional officers, administrators, and healthcare staff working in facilities throughout Ohio. PYP’s evidence-supported, trauma-informed approach provides tools to increase self-awareness, encourage emotional control, reduce depression, improve rational decision-making, and relieve chronic pain.
Check out our Largest Loser YouTube playlist to find videos from the Prison Yoga Project and other instructors here https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFQflIfTcNxPZyFNss-RhbPZSxeNgvje_
Prison Yoga Project is committed to finding new ways to reach incarcerated people and those who work in prisons and jails to help them stay healthy and safe. To support Ohio programming, visit https://prisonyoga.kindful.com/?campaign=1063794.