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Using yoga as a tool to sustain practice in turbulent places

Using yoga as a tool to sustain practice in turbulent places

Eastern embodied practices, of which yoga I am most familiar, have long claimed that the body is the ‘main channel for influencing the mind’. Like the mindfulness practices that have become popular as psychological interventions in the last decade, yoga encourages the individual to break habitual embodied feedback loops through a process of introspection on the human body. Although postural yoga has not been taken up to the same extent nor is it as well researched as mindfulness in the human services sector, in a study exploring psychotherapists’ experience of engaging in a regular yoga practice, Valente and Marotta (2005) note that Yoga has potential in increasing participants’ awareness of their bodies, thoughts, emotions and patterns of cognition, as well as calming their central nervous system, reducing anxiety, mental stress and fatigue. Given the importance of reflection in social work practice and the current understandings emerging from the neuroscientific literature, this workshop will explore the importance of the visceral experience of the social work experience and how including an embodied practice like yoga as a ‘tool’ could better prepare social work students and workers to take care of themselves and facilitate improved outcomes for their clients.

Speakers: Jo Mensinga
Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Anxiety, Psychotherapy, Religion and Spirituality