FOCUS: Yin Yoga + Radical Mental Health

On March19th, FOCUS event attendees met at Yoga U Pgh in Oakland for a new “twist” on mental health discussions.  The event was led by Vivian Lee Croft and Alyssa Cypher.  Vivian, who specializes in yin yoga, kicked things off with chair yoga.  Chair yoga is a great form of exercise for all groups- those new to yoga, students, older folks, anyone who sits for prolonged periods—as a way to connect breath to body throughout the day.  Any type of connected movement and breathing throughout the day is great for physical health to get your joints moving and blood pumping, as well as re-centering your mind.  Mindful breathing was critical in yin yoga, which is much slower than other styles of yoga. Mindful breathing can be a way to positively impact mental health outside of the yoga studio as well, if one finds themselves in a situation where they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. One rather cathartic exercise used was to inhale, then forcefully exhale while physically “brushing off” one’s arms to shake away negative thoughts or experiences. 

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The Relationship Between Physical and Mental Space: FOCUS Takeaways

In the latest FOCUS event, our speaker, Shanon Williams of Selfcare Housekeeping, discussed how she maintains an organized life, both physically and mentally, while coping with mental health challenges. Shanon’s business revolves around helping her clients realize that their “messes” may be stemming from something deeper than just being messy, and that in taking care of their environment, they can also take care of themselves.

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