The Science Behind Yoga
In her interview, Dr. Gail Parker shares how yoga has the power to heal the wounds of racial distress. She explains how certain yoga practices are designed to alleviate the stress of racial and ethnic wounding. Inclusive communities that are prepared to have conversations about race and ethnicity are essential to the future of the yoga community.
Dr. Parker is a psychologist, a certified yoga therapist, and a faculty member in the Beaumont School of Yoga Therapy in the department of Integrative Medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak Michigan. At Beaumont, she teaches mind/body strategies for reducing stress and healing emotional trauma to aspiring yoga therapists. Dr. Parker teaches Restorative Yoga and meditation as self-care practices to utilize in managing ethnic and race-based traumatic stress. By teaching yoga therapists how to use yoga practice to balance the nervous system to support emotional well-being, she believes that practitioners can more readily contend with trauma. This means focusing on the contemplative powers of yoga to support health and communities, and learning how to be more reflective, how to move into a state of calm.
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