Written By: Cristina Klymasz, MS, OTR/L, CBIS, RYT, CLT-LANA, MSCS
Happy National Yoga Awareness Month! In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services designated September as National Yoga Awareness Month. Designating September for this month is ingenious!
September brings many new changes- a new season, a new school year, and the start of many new roles and activities. New changes can be exciting, but also stressful. Yoga can be used as a wonderful stress reliever. Or maybe, yoga is one new change that you decide to implement in September for your well-being. National Yoga Awareness Month helps remind us that yoga can be a healthy addition in our lives.
Research has proved that Yoga may be Beneficial for the Following
- Stress Management: Yoga lowers stress and caregiver burn-out. No matter the source of stress, yoga can help! A recent study used yoga as an effective intervention to decrease stress and burn-out rates in healthcare professionals (Hilcove, et al., 2020).
- Lowering depression and/or anxiety levels: Practicing yoga can significantly lower perceived depression and/or anxiety. Verma, et al. (2021), found significant improvements in depression and anxiety scales in subjects that utilized a yoga app during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Improved sleep: As per the Sleep Foundation, “55% of yoga practitioners (yogis) report improved sleep.” Feeling tired or having difficulty falling asleep? – Try yoga!
- Improved heart health: Yogis have lower levels of stress, which improves heart health. Additionally, yogis engage in active lifestyles which is key for heart health. In a recent cross-sectional study, Forseth, et al. (2021), found that 87% of the yoga participants engaged in multiple forms of activity.
- Improved sense of well-being: Yogis report feeling healthier. In a recent cross-sectional study that evaluated yoga for stress relief during the COVID-19 lockdown, yogis reported having “a piece of mind” and “Higher Well-being” than non-yogis (Sahni, Sharma, and Garg, 2021).
1. Many yoga studios across the nation celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month with events or free classes. Search for yoga studios in your area to find an event.
2. Take your yoga outdoors! September has beautiful weather. Many yoga teachers offer classes in nature. Find classes at your local yoga studio or via websites, such as wanderlust.
I know that most healthcare practitioners tend to focus more on their patients than themselves. We may be recommending yoga to our patients but have ignored our own practice. I hope that you all either return to yoga or find yoga in September. Enjoy the sound sleep, well-being, and peace that yoga brings!
Explore online continuing education courses from Cristina below: