By: Bec Robertson
CEO & CO-FOUNDER
Sarah Reid is a Physio and Yoga Therapist who is passionate about the notion of “healing through movement“. As Sarah says:
“By regularly moving the body throughout the three planes of motion we can help to alleviate pain and discomfort. If we incorporate these movements with our breath then we are performing daily mindfulness rituals to promote health of our whole system, body, mind and soul.”
We are always searching for ways to take healing deeper and to more profound levels. After all, healing is a natural part of life and should be celebrated as a sacred daily practice rather than a long forgotten ancient tool. Sarah takes us into the depths of the use of yoga/movement as a healing tool. She beautifully encapsulates the joy and hope that comes when the spirit, body and mind collaborate.
HB: What is the connection between emotion and physical symptoms in the body?
The connection between the physical body and the mind has been well documented throughout the years. The yoga Sutras of Patanjali, dating back some 3000 years, documents this connection and discusses how disruptions to the mind can affect our physical health. The Panchamaya Kosha (five layers) system introduces the idea that the body is multidimensional and that actions at one level can have a ripple effect on the rest. A good example of this is in stress management. which begins as an emotional response and can then cause tension in the muscles and altered breath patterns and then progress to cause chronic problems such as reflux, ulcers, high blood pressure, adrenal fatigue and cardiac issues.
In more recent times, there has been an abundance of good quality evidence based research into the mind body connection and how it can affect our overall health. There are multiple articles on the brain gut interface demonstrating that how we think affects how we process food and what we eat affects our mood and the transmission of certain hormones responsible for health and wellbeing.
The introduction of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for chronic pain Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), persistent pain demonstrates that by affecting the way our brain interprets different stimulus/events we can determine the outcome and affect our recovery. Prominent psychologists and “self help” gurus often refer to the metaphysics of illness and how the state of our mind can affect our health. Mindfulness is now regularly taught at schools and in work places as the benefits are so well documented.
HB: How does Yoga Therapy go beyond a standard yoga practice?
A therapeutic yoga practice is designed specifically for the individual, by a highly qualified therapist. It begins with a full assessment of the individual looking at their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. The practice is then tailor made to address the person’s needs through a multidimensional approach, often incorporating some physical postures (asana) , breath work (pranayama), sound work (mantra), meditation/mindfulness and lifestyle advice. The Yoga Therapist combines their knowledge of yogic philosophy as well as incorporating evidence based knowledge of Western medicine to maximise the intervention.
The practice is most commonly performed daily to develop neuroplasticity and may be as little as five minutes or up to an hour, depending on the time constraints of the individual. The practice set will be adjusted and modified as required and as the individual begins to notice changes and will gradually evolve to accommodate these changes.
HB: People are starting to realise the connection between mind and body. What habits can they incorporate every day from a mind/body perspective to help boost that connection?
The great news is that there are so many simple and short practices that can be done to help our mind and body connection. We don’t have to go to an hour yoga class every day or sit and meditate for hours on end. Daily mindfulness practices are now commonly prescribed by many medical practitioners. These practices encompass the principles of yoga philosophy in calming the mind and focussing on the present. The statement “Where attention goes energy flows” is commonly used in yoga. So if we focus on the present rather than worrying about the past or future, we can help to alleviate some of our stresses/ailments. Daily “mindful” walks in nature can be an amazing way of grounding oneself and focussing on the present. Similarly a morning gratitude practice, body scan and small breath practice can start the day the right way. I often encourage my clients to do a small focusing technique throughout the day, where they perform five deep breaths every hour. Regularly checking in with how your body is feeling throughout the day can help to reduce pain and discomfort.
Sarah is hosting a luxury retreat in the stunning tropical location of Port Douglas, Queensland. Find out more.
Disclaimer: The Headspace and Bass Movement is not trained to provide or administer medical advice/treatment. Please do not hesitate to consult a trusted medical physician for help with any medical issues, diagnosis or symptoms. This includes any issues relating to mental health or addiction. We work alongside the mainstream medical system, not as a replacement for it. We believe that natural health and healing are best utilised in conjunction with treatment from trusted and qualified medical and health practitioners.