Fight Stress and Find Serenity Through Yoga

Yoga Program 2017

The Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHAMC) will offer Free Trauma-Sensitive Yoga to county residents who may be experiencing anxiety, stress, depression or other mental health concerns.  Yoga — a mind-body practice —brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help persons achieve peacefulness of body and mind. This can help people to relax and be better at managing stress and anxiety.

“We are excited to provide this holistic approach as an alternative or complementary intervention to assist persons who need some additional tools to manage stress or anxiety,” said Nancy Tighe, LCSW, MHAMC Sandy Wellness and Trauma Counseling Coordinator.  “Not only can yoga help to reduce stress, but it has also been shown to be effective in enhancing mood, and reducing risk factors of chronic diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure.”

MHAMC therapist, and Registered Yoga Teacher, Holly Heston, LSW, agrees, stating, “Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines movement and physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Poses can be adapted so that almost anyone can do it.”

For the past several years Ms. Heston has been working for the MHAMC providing supportive counseling to persons impacted by Superstorm Sandy. She received specialized training in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga from the prestigious Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts. Holly was trained under Trauma Sensitive Yoga instructor David Emerson who developed the program. Trauma-sensitive yoga is an empirically validated treatment that, according to Emerson, “moves beyond traditional talk therapies that focus on the mind, by bringing the body actively into the healing process. This allows trauma survivors to cultivate a more positive relationship to their body through gentle breath, mindfulness, and movement practices.”

The free program will be held at 59 Chestnut Street, Red Bank, home of the award winning community theater company, Phoenix Productions. For more than 29 years, Phoenix has been presenting full-scale Broadway musical revivals at the Count Basie Theater. “We truly appreciate Phoenix Productions generosity for offering us the use of their beautiful studio space and partnering with us to bring this important program to the community,” said MHAMC Executive Director, Wendy DePedro. “We hope that this program can offer those persons who struggle with trauma related stress reactions yet another path to healing and wellness,” Ms. DePedro added.

For more information on Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, and other Mental Health Association programs, please call 732-542-6422.

For more information about Phoenix Productions call (732) 747-0014 or visit


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