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Huntsville yoga facilitator explains the benefits of yoga on the mind

The owner and facilitator at Mill Kat Healing Arts talks about how yoga can benefit both the body and mind.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — It's Mental Health Awareness Month and there are many resources in the community to help those who may be struggling, one being a local yoga studio.

Kat Philips, the owner and facilitator of Mill Kat Healing Arts, says that, "When you watch a yoga class in the movies or whatever, you're thinking 'Oh, well, strength and flexibility' like, yes, strength and flexibility. But for me, the biggest benefit has been in dealing with anxiety and depression."

Philips shares that yoga can have great benefits for our mental health like lowering blood pressure, decreasing stress, and overall relaxing the mind.

"Whether you practice in a more gentle way, right, that's going to downregulate the nervous system that's going to take you out of our stress, every day fight and flight mode, and bring us down into our rest and digest and relax mode," Philips said.

There are several different yoga practices with many considered 'moving meditations.'

"Tuning into that nervous system, for most people is pretty easy. You just have to slow down and bring a little bit of attention to the present moment. I like to do that through the breath," Philips said.

"It's like hitting a reset button. So a lot of people who are new to it are surprised how relaxing it is and how accessible it can be, because a lot of people are very intimidated....they feel like they're not flexible enough or they're not strong enough. And I try to build my classes so that people can access yoga," Philips said.

She emphasizes you don't have to be flexible to practice yoga. There is something for everyone.

"So looking for something that is chair-assisted if you have, you know, difficulty getting up and down off of the floor or looking for, you know, yoga for retirees," Philips said.

And whether you're looking to start your yoga journey online, or in a class, she encourages you to just try it.

"I work at a rehab center with a lot of people who when they walk in the door. They're like. 'This is not for me. I'm not going to enjoy this.' And then about 10 minutes into it, they're like, 'oh, this is kind of nice'. So try it," Philips said.

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