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Relaxing the Body and Mind

Nancy Diane Mannelli-Brewer, a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda, original intent was to share her expertise in healing relaxation techniques by developing a holistic program for Sacred Heart Hospice patients, but soon realized it made best sense to begin with caregivers. So last April she started a free “yoga nidra” class for her colleagues, many of them under stress from increasing workloads and other changes.

   “By offering this to caregivers, it kind of comes through the back door,” said Nancy Diane, an RN Hospice Case Manager who has practiced daily meditation for over 30 years. “When individuals know the value of quieting the mind and quieting the body and experiencing some form of healing restoration, they can share what they know with patients.”

   Yoga Nidra brings progressive balance by introducing relaxation to a stressed system. For most of the 45 minutes, students are lying still on their backs on yoga mats, as Nancy Diane leads them with verbal instructions aimed at releasing physical, emotional and mental tension. “What I’ve found is employees are saying, ‘Wow, I need this every week, I need this every day,’” she said. “They say they feel calmer, and feel like things are rolling off their shoulders more easily.”  One of the regular participants, a Continuous Quality Improvement Coordinator in Home Health, said the class leaves her with less muscle tension and more relaxed perceptions that carry over into the next day. “We’re really, really happy that Nancy Diane is doing this,” she said. “It’s a gift that we’re accepting.”

   The drop-in class, Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30pm, is open to all PeaceHealth caregivers, and is held in the yoga room on the third floor of PeaceHealth Medical Group University District. Questions? Contact Nancy Diane.

175 West Blvd Street, Springfield, OR 97477