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Street Yoga is excited to announce that we are one of Oregon Health and Science University’s (OHSU) partners in an upcoming feasibility study they are conducting entitled, “Meals, Mindfulness and Moving Forward,” a multi-model approach to addressing cardiovascular risk and building resilience in youth suffering from psychosis.  We are honored and excited to be of service in this program.

Young people diagnosed with psychosis often have to deal with many challenges, including symptoms of the illness, side effects of antipsychotic medications, the stigma around mental illness, and cardiovascular risk (weight gain, Type 2 diabetes).

The program is modeled after a diet, exercise, and mindfulness program developed for people with multiple sclerosis, but uniquely designed for youth experiencing psychosis.  It is developed  by Drs. Lynne Shinto (Naturopathic Doctor at OHSU’s Neurology Wellness clinic and the Center for Women’s Health Integrative Medicine clinic) and Dennis Bourdette (Chairman, Department of Neurology, OHSU School of Medicine).

The program will run for 6 weeks and will facilitate a healthy lifestyle curriculum, including a mindfulness session, a physical activity session (including yoga for two of the weeks), and a healthy eating and cooking session each week.  The participants will range in age from 15-25 years old and be recruited through the human service agency Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA), who provides services to youth experiencing psychosis.  On behalf of Street Yoga, I will be guiding the mindfulness and yoga sessions.  Other providers will be facilitating activity sessions and a Whole Foods coach will instruct cooking classes and healthy eating lessons.

The goals are to encourage self-care, to address cardio-metabolic risk, and to build resilience for the youth participating in this program.  Not only is this important in managing the challenges they may be facing, it also creates an opportunity to reach youth at a time in their  life when making healthy choices about eating, physical activity, and risky behaviors like substance abuse are the most challenging.

At Street Yoga, we are thrilled to support this endeavor that so obviously meets our mission.  Stay tuned as we will report out the results of this research and watch for impacts as they arise.  Thank you, OHSU, for your work and for your partnership!

Hilliary Black

Street Yoga Program Director