Yoga Therapy for Mental Health
At Alchemy Yoga & Wellness Studio, Yoga Therapist, Rachel Rogers, B Sc., RYT, CMI offers a variety of yoga classes and counselling options specifically for mental health. Why? Because there are a significant number of people suffering with various mental health issues and the resources available for this significant amount of people are extremely limited, especially in our region! This leaves many feeling hopeless and trapped to repeat the same destructive cycles over and over again. Taking multiple medications, repeated visits to the ER, and having a consultation with the family physician once a month doesn't offer a sense of hope and can leave people with the belief that they are not much more than their struggles. People begin to see themselves as their condition, pain and barriers. At Alchemy we want to give you resources and tools. We want to be respectful of where you are at in your process and help with what your needs are. Our goal is to offer a safe environment free from judgment where you honor your needs by giving yourself time to rest, relax, and learn new skills - that work!
What is a Yoga Therapist and what do they Provide?
Yoga therapy is a system of health care that refers to the adaptation and application of Yoga techniques and practices to help individuals facing emotional/mental/health challenges at any level manage their condition, reduce symptoms, restore balance, increase vitality, and improve attitudes. Yoga comprises a wide range of mind/body practices, from postural and breathing exercises to deep relaxation and meditation. Yoga therapy tailors these to the health needs of the individual. It helps to promote all-around positive health, as well as assisting particular medical conditions. The therapy is particularly appropriate for many chronic conditions that persist despite conventional medical treatment. Specifically, Rachel's therapy tools are tailored to address the concrete aspects of the wiring and firing of the brain with her background in Psychology, alongside the deep and rich philosophies and practices of Buddhism. Some of the tools, Rachel uses include but are not limited to:
- Breathing techniques designed to physiologically calm the body.
- Visualization and imagery to induce a sense of safety.
- Yoga postures designed to relieve muscular pain and tension, create a sense of calm in the body and also promote a sense of accomplishment.
- DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) skills are taught by, Rachel who has been trained in DBT skills for an extensive period of time, will give you concrete alternatives to find healthier ways of living and coping with painful events and feelings.
NOTE: Mental health diseases are to be taken seriously. It is highly recommended to be under the care of a health professional. These tools are meant to be used in addition to, not in place of medical advice.
What Effect Does Yoga Have on Mental Health?
What Effect Does Yoga Have on Mental Health?
When people talk about yoga, they often reference the physiological benefits of the practice, such as increased flexibility and decreased muscle stiffness. However, not enough is mentioned about the mental, psychological, and cognitive benefits of yoga, and there are plenty. There have been several studies done to assess the effectiveness of yoga for brain and mental health and the research has come back promising.
"The evidence is showing that yoga really helps change people at every level," says Stanford University Health Psychologist and Yoga Instructor, Kelly McGonigal, PhD. That's why more clinicians have embraced yoga as a complement to psychotherapy. They're encouraging yoga as a tool clients can use to cope with stress and anxieties, and even heal emotional wounds.
The Mind-Body Meld
The rate of diagnosed cases of mental disorders increased dramatically between 1996 and 2006, and rising by about 60 percent among adults 18 to 64. In light of these numbers, yoga remains a natural and readily available approach to maintaining wellness and treating mental health issues. Several studies have reviewed yoga's use as a therapeutic intervention and found that yoga targets unmanaged stress, a main component of chronic disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and PTSD. Yoga does this by reducing the body's stress response, which includes the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The practice enhances resilience and improves mind-body awareness, which can help people adjust their behaviours based on the feelings they're experiencing in their bodies. "Practicing yoga personally and adopting a stance based on yoga principles such as non-judgment, compassion, spirituality and the connection of all living things can help relieve stress, enhance compassion and improve a sense of well-being." (American Psychological Association - Yoga as a Practice Tool)
Rachel Rogers, the owner of Alchemy Yoga & Wellness Studio, offers one-on-one counselling options with clients. Rachel completed her Undergraduate degree, BSc. in Psychology and Women's Studies many years ago, as well as her training in DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy). Her own triumphant story with mental health and how these skills helped her find her way has brought Rachel into the lives of many people in our region over the last 20 years. Rachel has been a large contributor to the Niagara Health Board on education and improvement of adolescent self-esteem within the school system. Rachel has offered various workshops for friends and families of a person suffering with an eating disorder. Rachel was the facilitator of a large eating disorder support group for many years. Additionally, Rachel has worked with victims of domestic violence, addictions, and troubled youth with great success. Rachel's past has given her a great deal of experience and insight into the mental health field.
Rachel's long-time struggle with anxiety, eating disorder and addiction was given new life through the use of DBT. DBT is becoming the leading form of behaviour and cognitive change in many progressive and well established mental health facilities all over the world. This form of therapy has been shown to dramatically change old patterns of behaviour and thinking and give concrete new options to people suffering. If you have been struggling with the same emotions, same problems, same results, then DBT is a great place to turn for change.
The content of each session includes the introduction and practice of the following skills:
- Distress Tolerance
- Interpersonal Effectiveness
- Emotion Regulation
- Mindfulness, with its practice rooted in yoga/meditation
These classes are applicable and intended for mental health in the following areas:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Depression diagnoses (including postpartum)
- Someone in need of change!
Private DBT Session:
Rachel offers an 8 week, private DBT session for $40/week. These private sessions allow you to focus on and work through your own personal struggles with Rachel's intimate feedback and goal setting specifically for your life. Each week we cover new DBT material, learn new skills and address how to incorporate them into your daily living. Weekly sessions are 50-60 minutes in length.
Private DBT + Yoga:
Yoga Therapy for Kids
Yoga therapy is a very effective tool for children in the beginning stages of, or already well within the frame work of a mental health disease. Rachel also has a very specific program to work with children that are struggling with the separation and/or divorce of their parents. DBT is a very effective form of therapy for children, however the content is adapted to the age and understanding of the child. The skills of DBT are effective not only with crises but are also excellent skills for building a healthy lifestyle.
Rachel uses the practice of yoga to work with a child's thoughts and feelings, as talk therapy can be quite unfamiliar and even uncomfortable for a child. Strength, honesty, adaptability, resilience are practiced first with the body and then incorporated into ideas for change. The poses help children to become more self-aware. Children become better at understanding and recognizing how they're feeling. They learn tools to regulate those big emotions. They learn dialogue about their feelings in unintimidating ways and also how to creatively express themselves in many different forms.
Rachel works one-on-one with children to give full focus and attention to each child and their needs. The sessions are set up on a weekly basis for one hour at a time. Sessions are $40 each. To find out more information or ask questions please either fill out a contact form on this website, email email@example.com or phone (905) 341-5930.