Bridging gap between mental, physical wellness

Kim Unger encourages folks to look where their break is going when doing yoga. (Christian Duran Photography/Courtesy photo)

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With so much emphasis on physical health during the pandemic, it’d be easy to overlook the mental and emotional toll it’s taken as well. Kim Unger from Kimberly Unger Healing Arts is ready to help Winters boost its overall mental, emotional and physical wellness.

As it turns out, simply ‘toughing-it-out’ isn’t the best approach to mental and emotional wellness — or physical wellness for that matter. Internal struggles are pain points that, if left unaddressed, can only get worse over time. Similar to trying to run with a sprained ankle.

“Usually when a physical symptom shows up in your body, you get sick, get a fever, a backache or a cough. It’s noticeable. But you can’t see it when it’s something that’s mental, emotional or energetic with the body and you’re just ignoring it. When mental wellness is ignored long enough, then it shows up in your body as a physical symptom,” explained Unger. “I guess for a lot of people if it’s not something you can see or experiencing physically, then it’s not real.”

To Unger, mental and physical health go hand-in-hand. That’s why yoga makes such an incredible bridge between the two and is considered more than a physical exercise. It’s a mindful practice that allows one to take emotional and physical inventory by simply listening to their body.

“In my classes, I always say to check in with your body. What is your body telling you and what kind of feedback are you getting? Not just
physically when you’re in a certain pose, but how does it make you feel? Where do you feel your breath going?” Unger said elaborating on her approach to yoga. “It’s great just being able to practice that, listening to the feedback from your emotional and energetic body, not just your physical body.”

On top of tapping into one’s body, Unger is also very keen on the meditative side of yoga as well. From the breathwork to unplugging from technology for a few minutes, it’s an exercise set to bolster one’s mental vitality.

“Meditation is a big part of yoga, and the physical aspect is just one part of it. Often times people are intimidated to do yoga because they don’t think they’re flexible enough. So, I just tell them, ‘If you can breathe, then you’re doing yoga,’ because that’s part of the breathwork and meditation,” said Unger.”  That really connects to the mental side of it and mental endurance. A lot of times you come to the end of yoga and people find it hard to lie still and just be with their own thoughts. Yes, you can hold a pose for a long time, but can you sit with your thoughts in silence for a while? Sometimes that’s the hardest part of class.”

Just like anything else in life, meditation takes practice. Out the gate, one shouldn’t expect to be able to sit with their thoughts for hours on end, rather, strive for around five minutes and take it one breath at a time.

To explore diving deeper into one’s own journey towards mental, emotional and physical wellness, visit
berlyungerhealing or visit her socials by searching @kimberlyungerheal
ingarts on Instagram.

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