Can Yoga Help Us Cope With Our Jobs In Care?
Social workers are expected to work with patients and families, supporting them through difficult times. But whilst they’re helping others, how are they looking after themselves?
6th July 2017
Written by Luisa Demant
Embodied Yoga Principles are a form of yoga which help create deep personal insights, and emphasise psychological self-awareness and transfer of skills to normal life.
Luisa Demant tells us about her work helping social workers cope with their jobs, through the power of these Principles.
Read on to find out more.
In kindergarten, our class visited a different institution once a week, spending time in an “integrative” setting with children with disabilities. Having a strong sense for social justice, even as a 4-year-old child, I couldn’t understand why these children couldn’t go to the same institution as other children and, even worse, disappear into “special schools” afterwards.
This experience has influenced my whole career and life.
After school, I studied social work, gaining knowledge in the areas of law, sociology, pedagogics, and education for several target groups, always hoping to dive deeper into the field of research.
After being accepted for a scholarship at the Max-Planck- Institute for Social Policy and Social Justice in Munich, Germany, I started my Ph.D. research project on educational participation, professional development, and counselling. I also worked as a university lecturer both in Munich and in Dortmund, Germany, training aspiring social workers, rehabilitation workers and teachers for special education.
What I loved about working at the university, was the deep knowledge I developed both through research, and through teaching young and enthusiastic students.
On the other hand, I found the long hours working in front of a computer screen challenging and un-motivating. I quickly realised how being active kept my body and mind healthy.
After finishing my Ph.D, I moved to London to take a break from academia and fulfil a long-held dream; Vinyasa Flow yoga with a specialisation in Embodied Yoga Principles.
I now combine my interest in professional development for people working in social services, with the concepts of yoga, embodiment, and mindfulness.
My aim is to tackle one of the biggest issues in social services, helping social workers develop professional skills to deliver great work and stay healthy and safe in their jobs. With this goal in mind, I have developed specialised Embodied Social Professional workshops on topics including self-care for social workers, setting boundaries in social work, relationships in social work, and authority vs. laissez-faire.
Attendees learn to understand their personal patterns, and develop new professional habits. The approach is based on Embodied Yoga Principles (EYP), which raises self-awareness and encourages the development of variety and choices both in everyday life and in professional actions.
After the course, participants will possess a toolbox of practices that can be used to reflect on their current situation, relationships, and interactions in their work and personal lives. This forms a foundation on which continuing professional development can be built.
Further information on Embodied Yoga Principles.