Yoga and Mindfulness in OT
"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 we’re honest about it…
It’s about making choices that are often ‘yes’
or ‘no,’ but it’s 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.”