Yoga - The Mind and Body Connection - By Sara Lewandowski

This gripping post was contributed by our own Sara Lewandowski, DNP, MS, BA, BS, RN.  

"The patient calls out.. nurse! Nurse! I'm having chest pain!"  I enter the patient's room to find the patient with both hands clasped over the heart. As the priority nursing assessment, I quickly assess airway, breathing and circulation. The patient's respiratory rate is slightly elevated at 24 breaths per minute. I proceed the implement the various interventions for anyone who complains of chest pain nowadays in healthcare- EKG, cardiac enzyme blood work, oxygen delivery. 

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I sit with the patient to monitor them during the oxygen delivery and treatment.  I remind the patient to take slow, deep breaths. After a few minutes of deep breathing, the patient says , "my chest pain is gone now".  All the tests come back normal. Then, the patient proceeds to tell me about a recent family drama that occurred.

The above hypothetical case study was very common throughout my 22 years as a clinical nurse.  Now, groundbreaking research in the world renowned Texas Medical Center is solidifying the link between emotional issues such as depression and the potential for subsequent deterioration of heart health. 

As a yoga practitioner, I find this so enlightening. The pranayama, or breathing, we practice throughout every style of yoga helps our heart, which is the center of the body's energy systems.  I believe that when we practice yoga, we can solidify and enhance the mind- body connection. In return, our physiological and emotional systems maintain a beautiful balance and rhythm. 

I stand by my mantra- Dream, breathe, love and live. Namaste." 

Sara Lewandowski DNP,MS,BA,BS,RN

More about Sara:

With over 20 years experience in healthcare, she has had the opportunity to care for people in many major Houston hospitals with physiological diseases such as stroke, cardiovascular bypass surgery recovery and many other conditions that required rehabilitation.  Sara learned that every body system impacted always had an underlying psychological aspect. This solidified her desire to learn more about the holistic aspects of yoga.

Sara believes practicing yoga is an alternative to transform the body, mind and spirit into the best version of oneself.  When we continually work to become the best version of ourselves, we can effectively love and serve others.