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'Invest in yourself' The importance of your mental health

Posted: 10:38 PM, Oct 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-11 23:33:00-04

BALTIMORE — "Invest in yourself just like we invest in our family, our career and our job," said Monica Ott, the founder of BambooMoves yoga studio Locust Point.

Ott found yoga at a very stressful time in her life, when she was living in New Jersey trying to make it as a singer.

"I think yoga more than any other form of exercise helped me the most," said Ott. She practiced on her own before creating BambooMoves.

"Once I started to study more into the teachings of yoga through meditation, through breath work, I started to see yoga as a life style and I wanted to bring that feeling to everyone and also bring it back to my hometown," she said.

The feeling of relief from daily life.

"We tend to prioritize other people, children, family members ahead of ourselves. So, I think it’s very important to take a step back make sure we take time to take care of our own health," said Dr. Jennifer Uy, doctor of Osteopathic medicine at GBMC, who says being healthy isn't just about your physical health but the mental aspect too.

"In terms of mental health having a therapist can be helpful medications but besides that yoga, tai chi, meditation, relaxation classes are all very beneficial in terms of your health and well being," Uly said.

Meditation is something that can easily be achieved at home, it doesn't have to be in a studio.

"Meditation can be anything that bring you joy. Taking a walk, right? That can be meditation or being out in nature. Anything that allows you to just kind of let go of worry, of stress, of distracting thoughts," said Ott. "Meditation helps to slow down the bodies stress response so it turns off our fight and flight sympathetic nervous system and turns on the rest and digest portion of the parasympathetic nervous system."

Ott stressed it's all about taking a few minutes out of your day to start and just focus on breathing. She also said there are simple restorative movements you can do with just your body, like lying flat on your back and pulling your knees to your chest then twisting side to side.

Or you can use a blanket. All you have to do is roll it up and place it right under your shoulder blades, lie down on it and let your arm relax to the sides.

"Allow the body to fully surrender into the blanket," said Ott.

Ultimately it's about taking time for yourself and just doing something for mental clarity.

For more information about the classes and resources offered by BambooMoves, click here.