• Melissa Manente

Let's talk about......YOGA

Neuroplasticity - that is my $2.50 word of the day. Simply put, it is your brain's ability to change and reorganize itself. When we practice yoga, we are essentially training our brains to think, feel, and perceive life as we do when we are practicing yoga.

Many of the yoga instructors I have had the pleasure of practicing with all believe in setting your intention at the beginning of class. I will not lie that the first few times, it was always "do not die" or 'do not throw up" "do not pass out." I am dead serious. My intentions have become more strength-based ( ok, sometimes I add in there do not fall on your face). The one thing that I have learned is once you control your breathing - you can manage your body.

In my practice as a therapist, I suggest to most of my clients to try yoga. Why? Well, for starters - neuroplasticity ( see above). Additionally, for most people, therapy is 45-50 minutes one time a week. Therapy needs to continue outside of my office for one to be successful on their therapy journey. I have found that those clients who open themselves up to yoga tend to be more in tune with their body and emotions. I believe in encouraging those who have never practiced yoga to set aside 10 -15 minutes 3-4 times a week to watch yoga videos and try a few simple poses.

Please do not just go immediately into a one-hour long yoga class if you have never practiced before. Yoga is a process - like therapy. When you begin therapy, you start with exploring your history. When you begin yoga, you start with basic breathing techniques. Both can be overwhelming if you are doing it for the first time. I do not recommend anyone immediately going into an intense yoga class if you have never tried yoga before. No seriously, please do not do it! I have, and it is complicated to sneak out of a yoga class when you realize you make a huge mistake. I encourage you to practice safely and smartly. Also, please use caution if you have any prior injuries.

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