'Gifts of Light' CAMH Yoga Event

Last month, we hosted a summer ‘Yoga for Wellness & Recovery’ event through Gifts of Light at The Centre for Addiction & Mental Health. This patient-centred event combined lived experience, information on the benefits of yoga for mental health and addiction recovery then a yoga practice focusing on mind-body health.

Clients from various units attended such as outpatient, mood and anxiety inpatient, concurrent addiction inpatient and a number of other areas. We were fortunate to have gathered support with product donations and contributions prior to the event, which went towards snacks, drinks, yoga mats and water bottles for participants. As well as MindYourMind.ca, a national youth mental health organization, providing stress balls and gift bags for the day.

The event began with me sharing about my own recovery journey; living with concurrent disorders, how yoga has been helpful and some of my current work. I touched upon the benefits of yoga for mental health, addiction, trauma and overall health and wellness.

With about 25 clients and 15 staff in attendance, we then moved on to practice yoga. When teaching I incorporate breathwork, movements, postures, mindfulness and meditation (all components of yoga) that focus on mind-body heath, mood-management and relaxation. Individuals were taken through practices to assist with anxiety, stress, depression and low moods. These skills and take-away tools can be helpful ongoing and when future challenges arise.

It was very special to be a part of this day and facilitate. There are many different types of activities and skills that one can incorporate into their recovery plan for health and healing. Not everyone has the opportunity or resources for these types of learning experiences. That is why organizations like CAMH who support a wide range of recovery initiatives, including trauma-informed yoga, are making a difference for the future of mental health and addition treatment! Thank you to Gifts of Light of CAMH Foundation for making this happen! 🙏🏽 #mentalhealthishealth