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ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Yoga and Mindfulness in OT

Published April 13, 2016 8:39 AM by Katherine Bortz

"The Impact of Yoga on Activity Patterns of Individuals with Sedentary Occupations” was presented by Erin Phillips, OTD, OTR/L, CYT, and Calista Crouthamel MOTS, RYT, on Saturday morning. The short course was designed to help occupational therapists understand the role of yoga and mindfulness in the occupational therapy profession and how it can help those with sedentary lifestyles.

We need to slow doen and look at the daily choices in our lives with more clarity, Phillips said. Healthy living can be simple if were honest about it Its about making choices that are often yes or no, but its not easy.

Both Phillips and Crouthamel believe that direct mindfulness is a fruit of yoga practice and can be used to assist patients and practitioners in the complicated path of recovery.

The two presenters commented on the link between a sedentary lifestyle, or a lifestyle in which six or more hours a day are spent sitting, and mortality rate. They aimed to see how yoga and mindfulness helped those with sedentary lifestyles.

Yes, we needed the numbers, but this is for them and what they got out of it, said Crouthamel.

A correlation was made between regular yoga sessions and significant decreases in pain, amount of time spent sitting during the day and other sedentary behaviors.

The two urge occupational therapy practitioners to incorporate yoga and mindfulness into their practice, whether that be in a hospital, school setting or long term care.

While practicing yoga has shown to be beneficial to clients who live a sedentary lifestyle, it also could be a positive experience for the occupational therapy practitioner as well.

How can we more fully show up to our work as OTs? Phillips asked. We live in environment of chaos every day and practicing more direct mindfulness will effect our health.

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