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2020 – Post-Covid Anxiety

Intermediate / Half-Day Workshop
Chicago, IL / Thursday, November 11, 2021 – 7:30 am-5:00 pm / 8.0 credit hours
Indoor Pool: 7:30-9:30 am
Classroom: 9:30-11:30 am
Lunch on own: 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Classroom:12:30-3:30 pm
Indoor Pool: 3:30-5:00 pm

Faculty: Camella Nair, Swami, C-IAYT

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Anxiety is a normal emotion we express occasionally. Chronic anxiety however interferes in our daily lives causing overwhelm. Studies report that anxiety can lower life expectancy and more than 25 million Americans are treated each year. The office for National Statistics in the UK in 2000 noted that anxiety and depression were among the most common mental health issues in the UK and with the World Health Organization predicting that depression will become the world’s largest contributor to disease by 2030. We need to find more clinical complementary techniques that improve not only recovery but also provide coping strategies. Common symptoms of anxiety are fear, panic, problems sleeping, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, fidgeting and muscle tension. Yoga therapy is complimentary to medical therapy and evidence points to the benefits of an anxiolytic protocol which can provide a bidirectional application such as vigorous aqua yoga (which in the water is more accessible to diverse populations than on land), along with deep breathing and more restorative poses (which can be practiced in the water or on land). Scientists measuring brain waves of patients before and after a yoga therapy class concluded that brain chemistry alters in a positive way by impacting the neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of mood, motivation, and pleasure and may reduce symptoms of IBS, neurodegenerative diseases, chronic pain, depression, and PTSD.

Stress can affect nerves and hormones as well as the mind and muscles, leaving clients feeling lethargic and un-motivated. In conscious yoga the heart rate can be gently elevated to allow the liver to release more energy as glycogen to cultivate more positivity. It is estimated that around 7.8% of us experience PTS at some point in our life, but the physiological and emotional symptoms can be felt as we all experience stressful situations off the battlefield. Conflict at work, death of a loved one, sleep deprivation, illness, break up of a marriage, and a pandemic are a few examples that suggest it is a conservative number and more of us are affected. In the water, the gains in proprioception can help us to find our place of balance and contentment once again in order to move on with our lives sooner. Yoga therapy provides practical help to soothe the mind as well as the body. Neuroplasticity reminds us that the brain changes depending upon how we use it and our perception of anxiety can be reframed so as not to disrupt our life and prevent us from doing the things we love. Developing awareness of the ventral vagal branch of the PNS helps us to connect and engage once again and the ancient system of yoga is a roadmap for better self-care. Our cultural training overrides the body’s natural instincts when it comes to dealing with trauma which results in us storing it within the body, leading to physical and emotional issues and psychological blockages. We will be reviewing some of Peter Levine’s strategies in order to reverse the damaging effects of trauma and anxiety by practicing some of his evidence-based ways of dealing with symptoms.

1) Describe, discuss and practice techniques from a practical aspect that may help clients in the water.
2) Review the body systems in terms of reactivity to stress/anxiety and practice ways of learning how to relax and reframe traumatic episodes.
3) Learn how to foster inclusion, acceptance, and inspiration for teaching small groups of private clients.
4) Explore techniques to gain greater introspection including ways to incorporate strategies to improve breathing.
5) Review current research and studies on how yoga therapy facilitates bi-directional communication between brain and body.
6) Explain how developing self-regulation strategies fit into the therapeutic yogic system where breathing is foundational and can benefit anxiety and related clinical conditions.
7) Discuss ideas on how therapeutic rigorous yoga can be incorporated safely into an aquatic setting.
8) Assimilate appropriate yoga poses in order to share them with clients.
9) Experience savasana or total relaxation in the pool to release fascia.
10) Explore poses that reduce compression of the cervical spine which can impinge on the vagas nerve and create problems in the GI tract.

FACULTY: Camella Nair, Swami, C-IAYT, is one of the few ordained female Swamis currently teaching in the Kriya Lineage. It is an unbroken line of gurus dating back thousands of years. She pioneered Aqua Kriya Yoga 20 years ago and travels to certify teachers in this field. As a female disciple, she authored “Prenatal Kriya Yoga” which is a mystical journey into pregnancy and motherhood. A registered Yoga Therapist and Prenatal Yoga Alliance registered teacher, she has a comprehensive online home-study in prenatal yoga at