Well-Being After COVID: Bridging yoga & healthcare to support those affected by COVID-19

What does well-being look like after COVID? How can yoga help?

The COVID-19 pandemic has us all sailing uncharted waters.

Research and scientific knowledge about the illness are in their infancy, and an array of sometimes devastating symptoms is challenging healthcare systems worldwide. Individuals recovering from COVID, too, are navigating unknown territory, often with limited support. As more people recover from the virus, more are experiencing long-term effects now known collectively as Long COVID or COVID Long Hauler Syndrome. Effective treatment pathways to help these individuals manage these life-altering symptoms have yet to be identified.

But there are practical steps we can take right now to increase our well-being and ability to cope, regardless of the form symptoms might take.

The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and Give Back Yoga University (GBYU) have joined together to offer practical, research-informed resources to yoga professionals and healthcare providers, as well as those recovering from COVID-19.

Through this joint initiative, GBYU and IAYT aim to:
  • Provide research-informed classes to help those recovering from the illness to ease anxiety, reduce discomfort, and restore physical strength and mobility.
  • Disseminate the latest evidence on the therapeutic use of yoga for managing symptoms and effects of illnesses like COVID-19 and Long COVID
  • Provide curricula, protocols, and resources that complement traditional health care services for COVID-19
  • Share best practices for using yoga with individuals whose well-being has been affected by COVID-19

Hundreds of articles have been written on how to avoid contracting and transmitting COVID-19. Perhaps even more has been written about COVID-19 warning signs, diagnosis, and treatment. Yet we are still trying to understand the after effects of this disease, and learning that recovery from COVID-19 may not automatically lead to the resumption of life as it was. But what does that really mean?

In this 45-minute lecture, you will learn:
  • Surprising, cutting-edge research findings about how COVID-19 acts
  • How yoga professionals can help individuals who are recovering from COVID-19
  • The effects you might see in your clients in a organ systems based approach
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Thursdays, March 11th through April 1st 2021 • 12PM EST / 10AM MST

Yoga Therapy for Long COVID, with Robin Rothenberg

This class series was developed to address the unique symptom complex associated with Long-COVID, respecting the need to avoid overexertion. While yoga therapy is no replacement for medical treatment, these self-care practices may assist you in creating a sense of internal balance, softening the edges of discomfort, to help restore and reconnect you to your own resilience.

Each class combines short lectures and research-informed practices in an approach that aims to be both educational and practical. The series will explore breath-work, gentle undulating movements, sound, mudra, and guided meditations – woven together in short adaptable sequences. Each offering can be easily modified and titrated to your needs. You’ll come away with a diverse toolbox of strategies and ways of working that you can utilize throughout your day to support your healing journey.

Class 1: Restorative Homebase

This initial offering acts as a kind of homecoming. Through gentle exploration of breath, somatic movement, mudra, and sound you’ll be called home to your body, in a process that validates your essential being.

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Class 2: Understanding Resilience: : The Energy Bank Account

Compassion, patience and pacing. This class offers an exploration in the ways prana/energy expands and wanes, reinforcing your agency to make wise choices in order to fill your pranic/energy reservoir.

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Class 3: Building Resilience

As you continue to learn to titrate and to honor the ‘pause’, this class offers an open invitation to play with possibility — all the while respecting your need for deep rest and recovery.

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April 1st • 12–12:45 PM EST
Class 4: Embodied Trust

In class four, we’ll review the tools of self-awareness, honoring the fluctuations in your moment by moment experience. Through a process that integrates and re-establishes trust in yourself, you’ll gain more clarity about what depletes and what sustains your prana.

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The current pandemic has had an unprecedented influence on mental health worldwide. Various surveys report up to three-fold increases in anxiety, depression, and PTSD in patients, the general public and health care professionals. Yoga’s value in mental health is recognized within its core ancient texts, yoga research, and, increasingly, within mental health care. In this talk, Heather Mason will discuss the current mental health crisis, how yoga can be used to address the mental health pandemic, and best practices for COVID-19 related mental health issues.

In this 45-minute lecture, you will learn:
  • The basic psycho physiological underpinnings for yoga’s value in mental health
  • How and why COVID-19 has negatively impacted mental health worldwide
  • Therapeutic yoga practices that are uniquely suited for COVID-related mental distress
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This 45-minute practicum is a follow up to Dr. Yang’s informative lecture explaining the science and practice of yoga for COVID-19 long-haulers. Ingrid will take you through her pranayama protocol and asana protocol, which were developed based on the latest research and her clinical experience working with COVID-19 patients. This protocol is also being implemented in her hospital during pulmonary rehab for COVID-19 recoverees. Dr. Yang will also be answering any questions from her March 6th lecture during this practicum, so please contact her at ingridyang.com if you want to submit questions.

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Thursday, April 8th 2021 • 11AM EST / 9AM MST

Restorative Breathing Post-COVID, with Robin Rothenberg

This presentation addresses how to utilize pranayama techniques when working with people living with post-COVID syndrome. Over this past year, we have witnessed the devastating long-term effect on survivors who continue to suffer breathlessness, fatigue, brain fog, circulatory, and neurological issues. We’ll explore how the breath, much like the virus itself, impacts the entire physiologic or pranic system, and may be our most potent tool for supporting recovery and resetting allostasis.

In this 90-minute presentation, you will learn:
  • The fundamental principles of pranayama, drawing from science and personal experience
  • How the breath is the primary means through which we allocate and replenish energy, drawing from the Vedic concept of the pancha vayus
  • The clear distinctions between practices that restore vitality, and those that further depletion, a consideration that needs to be appreciated when working with this vulnerable population

The lecture will be followed by an embodied practice that offers participants a felt-experience of the theory, as they explore the biochemistry and the biomechanics of restorative breathing.

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Wednesday, April 14th 2021 • 1PM EST / 11AM MST

How to Cope with Grief and Loss During COVID-19, with Wendy Stern

The pandemic has created an unprecedented experience of loss for countless people across the world. When we go through a loss of any kind, it often opens up all the previous losses that came before it. More than a year into the pandemic, we can see the effects of social isolation, loss of income, deaths of loved ones, and a loss of life as we used to know it on a global scale. More people than ever are dealing with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and an overwhelming fear of the unknown.
However, with this loss comes a precious opportunity to unearth and release undigested experiences of grief and bring greater freedom to your life. Join Wendy Stern, Founder of the Grief Support Network and President of the Center for Somatic Grieving, to learn how yoga and mindfulness can help you move through grief and find greater freedom in your life.
In this lecture, you will learn:
  • How to explore where you are holding grief in your body
  • How yoga and meditation can help you lean into and connect more deeply with your emotions
  • How your grief can serve as a powerful catalyst for personal growth, resilience and change
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With gratitude to our sponsors:

Yoga Alliance
Yoga Alliance