HealthWatch: Mental Health: Yoga & Meditation Can Help

Health Watch

May is National Mental Health month. With ‘Safer at Home’ measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic Aurora BayCare Medical Center wants to help people focus on their wellness.

To  help people get through this challenging time we have been focusing on six aspects of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, environmental and spiritual health.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is encouraging people to achieve their healthiest life possible. Since the covid-19 pandemic began, we have had many changes to our normal routines, adding strain on our mental health.

One way to improve our well-being is through yoga and meditation.

“We are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and stress due to Covid-19,” said Regan Dahnert, AFAA certified personal trainer, Aurora BayCare Medical Center. 

Regan Dahnert, a personal trainer at  Aurora BayCare Medical Center, says during stressful times yoga can help, “You will experience benefits physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.”

Regan says yoga can help with our nervous and immune systems, releasing stress relieving hormones helping to alleviate fear and anxiety. 

“Yoga helps counteract stress response and stress related problems as a result heart rate and blood pressure are reduced as well as overall hypertension,” explained Regan.

Regan says you should choose a special space in your home to practice and just a few poses a day can reap benefits.

“Warrior two forward fold to help stretch the back line and straighten the front line. Cobra pose to help strengthen the back line and stretch the front line and maybe a reclined twist to add that extra spinal twist for some spinal relief,” explained Regan.

Regan says similar to yoga, meditation can also help you improve focus and your emotional and spiritual wellness by drawing your attention away from stressors.

“It helps lower your stress levels, you get to know your pain better, it helps you connect better with your body and mind,”  explained Regan.

Regan says meditation also can help physically and intellectually, “By improving your memory and ability to concentrate. Physically it slows down the aging process, reduces back pain and encourages weight loss by reducing and reversing our response to chronic life stressors.”

Create a comfortable space in your house, find a comfortable position, check your posture, set a timer and let your mind follow your breath.

“Take deep breaths and direct your attention to your breath and maintain your attention to your breath,” explained Regan “When you have a distraction come into your mind take a deep breath let it go and then bring your attention back to your breath.”

Regan says you can start with just a minute or two of meditation once a day to begin with and then gradually increase the time.

Always remember when beginning any exercise routine, including yoga, to first consult with your doctor in case you have high-risk or underlying health conditions.

For more information and updates about covid-19, visit Aurora BayCare’s resource center online at

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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