Despite the fact that over the last twenty years, Yoga has gone from a marginal activity to an almost mainstream one here in the West, the general impression is that Yoga is still not altogether well understood. Most everyone has heard of Yoga, but not everyone really knows what it involves.
“Yoga involves stretching, breathing, relaxation and exercise which are good for almost everyone,” said yoga instructor and practitioner, Joanne Gordin. “Yoga can benefit people who have mental health conditions, as well as those who do not.”
Chronic stress has an impact on the body in the form of chronic muscle tension and stiffness, and this very stiffness and tension seems to produce some of the worry and agony that anxious and stressed out people report, explained Gordin.
“Yoga is a very effective stress reduction and relaxation tool,” said Gordin. “Performance of various postures requires the tensing and stretching and then relaxing of muscle groups and joints, which effectively produces relaxation. Yoga practice also draws attention towards breathing, which produces a meditative and soothing state of mind.”
Gordin warns that yoga is not for everyone. She says if you’re thinking about attending a yoga class, check with your doctor before attending because yoga is a form of exercise.
If you are an adult who is having a mental health or substance abuse emergency, you may go to any of Philadelphia’s Crisis Response
Centers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Temple/Episcopal Hospital: 100 E. Lehigh Ave. (215) 707-2577
Friends Hospital: 4641 Roosevelt Blvd. (215) 831-4600
Einstein at Germantown Community Center: one Penn Blvd (215) 951-8300
Mercy Hospital: 501 S. 54th St (54th & Cedar Ave.) (215) 748-9525
Pennsylvania Hospital (Hall Mercer): 8 TH and Locust St (215) 829-5249